Slabtown Meadow on Crozet Avenue
A small subdivision has been proposed for a vacant parcel on the east side of Crozet Avenue, just north of Chesterfield Landing and across from the intersection of Davis Drive. Dubbed “Slabtown Meadow,” as a section of Slabtown Branch runs through the property’s southern edge, the project currently envisions “7 residential lots on 7.4 acres” on a wedge of land between the Branch and Lickinghole Creek. However, after accounting for the property’s steep slopes, stream buffers, and the fact that it lies in a state dam break inundation zone, the seven lots must be sited snugly along Crozet Avenue on about half of the parcel’s acreage.
The project is a “by-right” development, meaning that if the proposed plans meet the county’s minimum requirements for zoning, site plan, and subdivision ordinances, they must be approved. On behalf of the landowner, John W. Anderson, Shimp Engineering has requested a “variation” (exception) from a rule that requires the subdivision to have a single access point from Crozet Avenue leading to an interior road structure within the development to reach each of the houses. Instead, Shimp is proposing a set of shared driveways for the seven houses, for a total of four entrance points from Crozet Avenue, which would reduce the amount of impervious surface necessary to provide access to the lots.
Thus far, regulatory reviewers of the Slabtown Meadow plans have raised several questions and requests for revisions. While the county’s engineering department had no objection to the shared driveway plan, transportation planner Kevin McDermott does not recommend the addition of four new private driveways on that section of Crozet Avenue. “Crozet Avenue is a two-lane, curvy, Minor Arterial, which carries approximately 8,000 vehicles per day,” said McDermott in his review comments. “Any new access point on this highway is going to introduce significant safety concerns and likely operational issues.”
Justin Deel of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation noted that the entire parcel lies within the dam break inundation zone for the Mint Springs Park series of dams, and he does not recommend project approval. “Based on recent development [such as Chesterfield Landing], it is likely that the hazard classification for Mint Springs will need to be increased to High [to account for potential downstream damage due to a dam break],” said Deel. “Further development within this dam break inundation zone would make this even more likely.”
While the applicants originally designed the subdivision for 11 lots, they have since reduced that number to seven lots of about 25,000 square feet each. Though the county requires a minimum lot size of 30,000 square feet, the applicants sought to take advantage of a bonus density category called “Bonus Level Cluster Development.” In his review comments, however, senior county planner Chris Perez noted that residential bonuses are not available for this parcel because its designation in the Comprehensive Plan is actually Greenspace. Thus, the design will have to increase the smaller lot sizes to the minimum 30,000 square feet within the narrow buildable area.
In January, Shimp Engineering requested a deferral of the county’s review of the Slabtown Meadow preliminary subdivision plat for up to six months as they respond to review comments.
Jarmans Gap Road
An even smaller development of single-family dwellings is proposed at 6107 Jarmans Gap Road, about ¾ of a mile west of Crozet Avenue on the south side of the road past the Old Trail Drive intersection. As yet unnamed, this five-acre parcel owned by James R. Jackson Jr. will feature five houses arranged on a short cul-de-sac as designed by Collins Engineering. Jackson owns a 2,800 square foot house built in 1999 on the parcel, which will remain on the largest of the lots. As a by-right development, the project may proceed with one residential dwelling per acre as it is currently zoned, as long as it meets county site plan and subdivision ordinances.