Planning Commission : 11.19.08


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Present: Ms. Philippa Proulx, Ms. Emily Hunt, Ms. Linda Russell, Mr. Mike
Absent: Mr. Mike Harman and Mr. Tommy Bruguiere (Board Liaison)

PRELIMINARY PLAT/MR. JOHN MORRISON – The applicant submitted a plat to
divide 2.0 acres off his 11.372-acre parcel at 2307 Phoenix Road (Lot #16
Arrizona Subdivision). With no public comment, Commissioners voted 4-0 to
approve the preliminary plat.

SITE PLAN/NORTH BRANCH SCHOOL – The applicant, represented by Mr. Jim Gates,
submitted a site plan for a one-story, 2,600 sq ft addition to add two
classrooms and a computer lab on property located at 221 Mickens Road in
Avon. Ms. Proulx stated that she sits on the Board of Directors for the
school and would, therefore, recuse herself. With no public comment,
Commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the site plan subject to Health
Department approval of the sanitary sewage system.

requesting a permit to use a small structure on a 10-acre parcel on Rt. 687,
North Fork Road in Tyro, as a weekend recreational getaway. Mr. Boger
reported that the State Building Code does allow seasonal type structures
which are not built to the same standards as residential structures as they
are not to be occupied year round. He noted though that over a period of
time, many evolve into permanent residential structures without complying
with building code requirements. Mr. Boger reported that in 2008, the Board
of Zoning Appeals found that the county’s zoning ordinance does not have a
provision to permit by-right rustic and seasonal-type structures. If a
structure is to be used for residential use, it must comply with the zoning
definition of a dwelling unit. The Building Official has determined that in
order to comply with the definition, the structure must be constructed in
compliance with Building Code requirements for a traditional residential

Mr. Boger reported that the applicants would like to have electrical service
to an existing building to be used occasionally as a weekend getaway. He
noted that the closest definition in our ordinance for this situation is
2-17 “Camp, summer: A tract of land used or designated to be used for
seasonal accommodation of individuals in tents or similar rustic structures
and for use by such individuals for sports, handcrafts and other
outdoor-oriented activities and recreation.” Mr. Boger also reported that
the Health Department could not locate a suitable area on the property for a
septic system but has issued a permit to construct a privy on the property
with the condition that any wastewater generated by the use of the cabin be
disposed of in the privy pit.

Ms. Hunt asked how the county would know if the building turned into a
year-round residence. Mr. Boger said that typically, the county does not
know unless someone complains. Ms. Russell said that if the application
were approved as a recreational summer camp, it would permit a summer camp.
Mr. Boger said that the county could put any conditions on the permit that
it chose. Ms. Russell said that the zoning ordinance requires that the
structure have water, septic and meet building code requirements. Mr. Boger

Ms. Robertson said that she and her husband bought the land three years ago
with the intention of having a weekend getaway. She said that their primary
home is, and will remain, in Stuarts Draft and that they have no intention
of moving into this building.

During Public Comment, Mr. Billy Zirkle (North Fork Road) said that he had
no problem with the applicant’s plan but would object to a summer camp.

Ms. Russell said that, in her work on the Board of Zoning Appeals, there are
more problems with structures becoming residences and that the more rural
the area, the more chance the county will not know about it. She said that
she would not support the addition of electric without bringing the building
to code with water and septic. Ms. Proulx said that she has no problem with
the cabin but does have a problem with the use of “summer camp” as the
definition was intended for something else. She said that she has always
had a hard time with trying to fit uses into the wrong categories. Ms.
Russell suggested amending the ordinance to allow and define a seasonal
dwelling. Mr. Tapager agreed, saying that he would rather have an ordinance
that tracks these dwellings than driving people underground. Ms. Russell
said that the Commission could explore an amendment to the ordinance with a
Conditional Use Permit that allows a dwelling that does not meet the
stringent standards for a year-round house. Commissioners voted 4-0 to
postpone a decision until their next meeting in order to pursue alternative
courses of action, including an amendment to the zoning ordinance.
Commissioners directed staff to draft an amendment for their review.

Engineer, representing Virginia Distillery presented a preliminary plan for
the distillery planned for Eades Hollow in Lovingston. He noted a phased
construction plan and reviewed the proposed placement of buildings, parking
areas and infrastructure. Commissioners reviewed the plans, asked questions
and made comments for review prior to submission of actual site plans.

adopt a resolution of intent to review and amend Article 2, Section 2-92-1
to add the definition of wood yard as follows: “Wood yard: A parcel of
land, or portion thereof, used for the commercial storing and marketing of
logs.” Commissioners directed staff to advertise the proposed amendment for
public hearing.

consensus to hold a work session on Wednesday, January 7th at 7:30pm at the
Courthouse to review proposed amendments to “Division Rights and Area
Regulations”; Small Wind Energy; Communication Tower Ordinance; Rustic
Cabins; and a discussion of the Commission time limits/time frames imposed
by the county and state codes and ordinances.

COMP PLAN REVIEW – Ms. Proulx asked Mr. Boger about the status of the
updates to the data required for the Comp Plan review. Mr. Boger said that
he is working on the data and hopes to have the work completed in January.

Meeting adjourned.

By Rural Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.


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