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Planning Commission Public Hearing / Work Session : 2.11.09

[ 0 ] February 12, 2009 |

PLANNING COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING/WORK SESSION
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

PRESENT: Ms. Philippa Proulx, Mr. Mike Harman, Ms. Linda Russell,
Mr. Mike Tapager, Mr. Tommy Bruguiere (Board Liaison)
ABSENT: Ms. Emily Hunt

PROPOSED ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS – Mr. Boger reviewed the proposed
amendments as follows:

Addition of –
Article 2. Definitions
2-15a Cabin: A single, permanent detached unit, which may or may not
contain cooking facilities, and/or bathroom facilities, dedicated to
temporary occupancy for purposes of recreation, education or vacation.
Rental properties meeting the above description shall be considered cabins.

Article 3. Conservation District C-1
Section 3-1-a Uses – Permitted by Conditional Use Permit only:
3-1-12a Cabins

Article 4. Agricultural District A-1
Section 4-1-a Uses – Permitted by Conditional Use Permit only:
4-1-24a Cabins

Amendments to (Note: amended language in all caps)-
Section 4-2
4-2 LOTS ALLOWED and area regulations (Lots Allowed replacing Division
Rights)
4-2-1 “A parcel of record in the Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court of
Nelson County on the effective date of this subsection (June 1, 2007) MAY BE
DIVIDED INTO NO MORE LOTS THAN ARE PROVIDED IN THE CHART BELOW. (Note: No
changes proposed to the chart which is:
0-5 acres 2 lots allowed
5-10 acres 3 lots allowed
10-15 acres 4 lots allowed
15-20 acres 5 lots allowed
20-25 acres 6 lots allowed
25-35 acres 7 lots allowed
35-45 acres 8 lots allowed
45-55 acres 9 lots allowed
55-65 acres 10 lots allowed
65-75 acres 11 lots allowed
greater than 75 acres has additional lots allowed provided each additional
lot created is 20 acres or more in size.)

“At the time of division, the owner of the parcel so divided shall designate
the number of LOTS into which each parcel so divided may be further divided
pursuant to this section. No such division or adjustment of boundary lines
or any other reconfiguration of a parcel shall increase the number of LOTS
which may be created.”

“Each plat of survey reflecting a division or adjustment of boundary line or
any other reconfiguration of a parcel shall provide therein: (i) the
original number of LOTS ALLOWED FOR THE PARCEL, together with appropriate
instrument number references; (ii) the number of LOTS CREATED in this
division; (iii) the number of LOTS remaining; and (iv) the ALLOCATION OF
remaining LOT RIGHTS AMONG THE NEWLY CREATED LOTS.”

During Public Comment, Ms. Kim Cash, Montebello, said that while she
supports the option to build a weekend/vacation cabin, she is concerned that
these cabins not turn into year-round residences as the ordinance will allow
them to be built to a lesser building code standard. She asked that the
Commissioners consider how to transfer the conditions to any new owners.

Mr. Massie Saunders said that cabins should be allowed but agreed that the
county should keep a handle on the situation and now allow them to get out
of hand by being clear about the meaning of “temporary”.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE – Mr. Boger reviewed the
proposed amendment as follows (Note: amended language in all caps):

Section 2. Definitions
“Subdivision: A parcel of land which has been subdivided into smaller
parcels or lots for the purpose, either immediate or future, of transfer of
ownership or building development. The term “subdivision” includes FAMILY
DIVISIONS, “re-subdivision”, and, when appropriate to the context, shall
relate to the process of subdividing or the land subdivided.”

Section 3-2 Exceptions to Review by Commission
(4) “A single division of a tract or parcel of land for the purpose of sale
or gift to a member of the immediate family of the property owner IF THE
PROPERTY OWNER AGREES TO PLACE A RESTRICTIVE COVENANT ON THE SUBDIVIDED
PROPERTY THAT WOULD PROHIBIT THE TRANSFER OF THE PROPERTY TO A NONMEMBER OF
THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE (5) YEARS. Any parcel thus created
having less than five (5) acres shall have a right-of-way of no less than
thirty (30) feet wide providing ingress and egress to and from a dedicated
recorded public street. Only one such division shall be allowed per family
member, and shall not be for the purpose of circumventing this ordinance.
For the purpose of this subsection, a member of the property owner’s
immediate family is defined as any person who is a natural or legally
defined OFFSPRING, STEPCHILD, SPOUSE, SIBLING, GRANDCHILD, GRANDPARENT, OR
PARENT OF THE OWNER. It shall be noted on the plat and in the deed that this
is a family division of property pursuant to this subsection.

During Public Comment, Mr. Massie Saunders supported the inclusion of a
family subdivision in the number of lots allowed for a parcel. He said that
large families can create a hodgepodge of one-acre lots. He also supported
the five-year restriction, noting that Amherst County is considering
requiring that the property owner own the land for at least five years
before transferring to a family member and that that family member must own
it for at least five years before transferring to a non-family member.

Commissioners tabled the proposed additions and amendments to both the
Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances for further review and then discussion at
their February 25th meeting.

OTHER BUSINESS –

FISHER AUTO PARTS (Nellysford) – Mr. Boger reported that the business plans
to extend the back of their existing building by 23 feet and asked for
authority to approve the amendment to the site plan administratively. Ms.
Proulx said that she does not object to the applicant’s plans but that she
does not want the next applicant to question why this applicant was not
required to do a new site plan. Ms. Russell asked why the applicant could
not draw the addition to scale on the existing site plan, indicate whether
there would be any additional lighting or a loading dock. Mr. Bruguiere
said that it is a simple addition and should be approved administratively.
Ms. Russell said that the Commission does not know the scope of the project
and that she, therefore, does not feel in a position to make a decision on
whether it could be approved administratively but that she would be open to
doing an amendment to the site plan rather than a new site plan.

After further discussion, Commissioners directed staff to have the applicant
draw the addition to scale on the existing site plan and write in any plans
for lighting, doors, paving and the well that exists behind the building for
the Board’s consideration at their February 25th meeting. Mr. Tapager
suggested that the Commission establish some standards so the next time,
there will be requirements to determine whether an amendment can be approved
administratively.

PROPOSED ZONING AMENDMENT/RETAIL STORE, NEIGHBORHOOD – Ms. Proulx said that
she has become increasingly convinced that the county needs an inventory of
stores. She said that she has talked to several citizens and several
members of the Historical Society and there may be those willing to do an
inventory. Ms. Proulx also said that since all but the stores in Avon are
in Agricultural A-1 zoning, they can do what they want to do anyway. She
said that she does not feel any urgency to do this amendment, but the
Commission should start with an inventory. Mr. Bruguiere said that the
county does not need an inventory as it makes no difference where the stores
are and an inventory would make the staff do too much. Ms. Proulx noted
that she is talking about using volunteers to do the inventory and that she
does think the Commission needs to know what they are talking about.
Commissioners agreed by consensus to pursue the use of volunteers to gather
information. Ms. Proulx agreed to make further contact with those
interested.

“THE TICKING CLOCK” – Commissioners had a brief discussion of the sections
of the ordinances that have ambiguous language regarding time requirements
for applications and various sections of the ordinance that allow for 30-,
60- and 90-day time frames. Mr. Boger reported that the County Attorney is
working on amendments to clarify. Ms. Russell said that standardizing the
time frame would help greatly. Ms. Proulx agreed and said that she would
like to see the allowed time set at the maximum allowed under state code.
After further discussion of possible ways to “start the clock” on an
application, Commissioners agreed to table further discussion for more
information from the County Attorney. They also agreed to start work on
developing a checklist for rezoning and Special/Conditional Use permits to
define and determine a “complete” application.

FEBRUARY 25TH MEETING – Commissioners agreed to add discussion of the
following to the agenda:

– Addition/Amendments to the Zoning & Subdivision Ordinances related to
Family Subdivisions and Cabins;
– Communication Towers;
– Small Wind Energy;
– Complete Application Checklist/Guidelines

Meeting adjourned.

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