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Chapter 19 - Land Use and Development

Division 4 – Conditional Uses

§ 19.6-42 Definition and initiation.

A conditional use is a use that would not be permitted generally or without restrictions throughout the zoning district but which, if controlled as to number, area, location or relation to the neighborhood, would promote the public health, safety, welfare, morals, order, comfort, convenience, appearance, or prosperity. Such uses may be permitted in such zoning districts as conditional uses if specific provisions for such uses are made in this chapter. The Board of Supervisors reserves the right to grant conditional use permits. Conditions imposed in connection with residential conditional use permits wherein the applicant proposes affordable housing shall be consistent with the objective of providing affordable housing. When imposing conditions on residential projects, specifying materials and methods of construction or specific design features, the approving body shall consider the impact of the conditions upon the affordability of housing.

§ 19.6-43 Application.

Applications for conditional uses may be made by any property owner, tenant, government official, department, board or bureau. Such application shall be made to the Board of Supervisors in accordance with the rules adopted by the Board. The Board of Supervisors shall refer the application to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation. The application and accompanying maps, plans or other information shall be transmitted promptly to the Secretary of the Board, who shall place the matter on the docket, advertise a public hearing and give written notice of such hearing to the parties of interest. Upon recommendation of the Planning Commission, the Zoning Administrator shall transmit a copy of the application with the Commission’s recommendation to the Board for final resolution.

§ 19.6-44 Authority to impose conditions.

The Board of Supervisors may grant such conditional uses as are authorized by this chapter. The Board may impose such conditions relating to the use for which a permit is granted as it may deem necessary in the public interest, including limiting the duration of a permit, and may require a guarantee or bond to insure that the conditions imposed are being and will continue to be complied with. The Board may seek guidance as to the conditions through the review of the Planning Commission. The Commission may recommend conditions, which the Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify in their entirety.

§ 19.6-45 Procedure for review of application.

A. Whenever a use or structure is listed either as a permissible use or is listed as a conditional use, application shall be made to the Zoning Administrator, who shall refer such application to the Planning Commission. A written application for a conditional use shall be submitted indicating the section of this chapter under which the conditional use is sought and a statement of the grounds on which it is requested. A concept plan describing the proposed development shall be submitted with the application. The concept plan shall consist of a location/vicinity map, property lines, name and address of the property owner and/or developer, Tax Map number, nature of the proposed land use, zoning district, names/route numbers of adjoining streets, access points, parking accommodations, building(s) location with setbacks, and height of building(s).

B. A separate public hearing shall be held by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney.

C. No conditional use may be granted except after notice and hearing as provided by § 15.2-2204, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended. However, when giving any required notice to the owners, their agents or the occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, the Board may give such notice by first-class mail rather than by registered or certified mail.

D. The Planning Commission shall make a recommendation on the subject use after a public hearing is held.

E. The final determination on the request will be made by the Board of Supervisors.

F. In considering the conditional use permit application, the following factors shall be given reasonable consideration. The applicant should address all the following in its statement of justification:

(1) Whether the conditional use permit is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

(2) Whether the proposed conditional use permit will adequately provide for safety from fire hazards and have effective measures of fire control.

(3) The level and impact of any noise emanating from the site, including that generated by the proposed use, in relation to the uses in the immediate area.

(4) The level and impact of glare or light that may be generated by the proposed use in relation to uses in the immediate area.

(5) The location, type, size, and lighting of any signs associated with the proposed use.

(6) The compatibility of the proposed use with other existing or proposed uses in the area.

(7) The location and area footprint, with dimensions (to scale), and nature and height of existing or proposed buildings, structures, walls, and fences on the site.

(8) The location and type of existing or proposed landscaping, screening and buffering on the site.

(9) Will the project be phased? If so, a proposed schedule is required.

(10) Environmental impacts? Will the project result in the preservation or destruction of any sensitive areas such as creeks, streams, ponds, etc.?

(11) Whether the project will have any significant archaeological or historic impact on proposed or existing structures or areas.

(12) The traffic expected to be generated by the proposed use, the adequacy of roads and the circulation patterns, both vehicular and pedestrian.

(13) Will the proposed use be served by public water and/or sewer facilities?

(14) If not served by public water, what will the impact be to groundwater supplies?

(15) The location, size, and character of any parking area, off-street loading area, outdoor storage area or refuse collection area.

§ 19.6-46 Conditions and restrictions.

A. In approving a conditional use permit, the Board of Supervisors may impose such conditions, safeguards, and restrictions upon the premises benefited by the conditional use permit as may be necessary to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any potentially adverse or injurious effect upon other property in the neighborhood and to carry out the general purpose and intent of this chapter. Conditions and restrictions may include, but are not limited to, those related to fencing, planting, other landscaping, additional setbacks from property lines, location and arrangement of lighting, setting of reasonable time limitations, including limiting the duration of a permit, and other reasonable requirements deemed necessary to safeguard the interest of the general public. The Board of Supervisors may require a bond or guarantee to ensure that conditions imposed will be complied with. All required conditions shall be set out in the documentation approving the conditional use permit.

B. The issuance of a permit for a conditional use shall not authorize the establishment or extension of any use nor the development, construction, reconstruction or alteration of any building or structure, but shall merely authorize the preparation, filing, and processing of applications for permits and approvals required by the County, including building permit, certificate of occupancy, site plan, subdivision approval, and zoning permit.

§ 19.6-47 Time limitations; validity.

A. The Board of Supervisors shall hold a public hearing and approve or deny any conditional use permit application within 12 months after receiving the Planning Commission’s recommendation. Failure to act on any permit request within this twelve-month period shall be deemed denial of the permit.

B. The Board of Supervisors shall not require a conditional use permit be obtained for the small-scale conversion of biomass if: (1) at least 50% of the feedstock is produced either on site or by the owner of the conversion equipment; (2) any structure used for the processing of the feedstock into energy occupies less than 4,000 square feet, not including space required for storage of feedstock; and (3) the owner of the farm notifies the County in which the processing occurs. The County may adopt reasonable setbacks, minimum lot area, and restrictions on the housing of operations and noise levels; however, these regulations may not be more restrictive than similar provisions for other agricultural structures and activities.

C. The Board of Supervisors shall not require that a conditional use permit be obtained in order to erect a tent on private property which is intended to be used for three days or less and will be used primarily for private/family-related events such as weddings or estate sales.

D. The Board of Supervisors shall not require that a conditional use permit be obtained for activities and events on farm wineries licensed in accordance with Title 4.1 of the Code of Virginia. Usual and customary activities and events at farm wineries shall be permitted without local regulation unless there is a substantial impact on the health, safety or welfare of the public as determined by the Zoning Administrator. No local ordinance related to noise shall be more restrictive on farm wineries than other outdoor activities in general.

E. Any conditional use permit approved by the Board of Supervisors shall be null and void two years after approval if the use or development authorized by the permit is not commenced to a degree that, in the opinion of the Zoning Administrator, clearly establishes the intent to utilize the granted use permit in a reasonable amount of time for the type and scope of the improvement involved.

F. Conditional use permits which are approved by the Board of Supervisors run with the land, except that activities or uses approved by the conditional use permit which are discontinued for a period of more than two consecutive years shall not be reestablished on the same property unless a new conditional use permit is issued in accordance with § 15.2-2309, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended.

G. If the conditional use permit application is withdrawn at the request of the applicant subsequent to the Board of Supervisors’ denial of the application, the County shall not consider any application for substantially the same conditional use on the same parcel within one year of the permit withdrawal or Board action.

H. The Zoning Administrator shall not accept any conditional use permit application for a lot or parcel that does not comply with the minimum lot standards as required by this chapter. If such cases arise, the applicant must first seek a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals. If the variance is granted, then the Zoning Administrator shall accept the application for a conditional use permit and process it according to the requirements of this chapter.

I. A conditional use permit may be placed on hold at any time upon written request of the applicant. The hold shall be for a period not to exceed six months. Should the applicant not reactivate, it shall be considered withdrawn and subject to the requirements of this chapter for such action.

J. To revoke a conditional use permit previously granted by the Board of Supervisors, the Board must determine that there has not been compliance with the terms or conditions of the permit. No conditional use permit may be revoked except after notice and hearing to the owners, their agents or the occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, as provided in § 15.2-2204, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended.

§ 19.6-48 Special project reviews (2232 review).

A. In accordance with § 15.2-2232, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, no street, or connection to an existing street, park, or other public area or public building or structure, public utility facility, or public service corporation facility, other than railroads or an underground natural gas or underground electric distribution facility of a public utility within its certificated service territory, whether publicly or privately owned, shall be constructed, established or authorized unless and until the general or approximate location, character, and extent thereof has been submitted to and approved by the Planning Commission as being substantially in accord with the adopted Comprehensive Plan.

B. Widening, narrowing, extension, enlargement, vacation, or change of use of streets or public areas shall likewise be submitted for approval, but paving, repair, reconstruction, improvement, drainage, or similar work and normal service extensions of public utilities or public service corporations shall not require approval, unless involving a change in location or extent of a public street or public area. Corridors of significant importance, as designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, shall be added to the Comprehensive Plan and updated accordingly as the Transportation Element of the Comprehensive Plan is reviewed and updated.

C. An application shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator and shall generally conform to the requirements of those applications filed for conditional use permits.

D. The Planning Commission may, or at the direction of the Board of Supervisors shall, hold a public hearing subject to the notice requirements of § 15.2-2204, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended. The Planning Commission shall communicate its findings to the Board of Supervisors, indicating its approval or disapproval with written reasons therefor. The Board of Supervisors may overrule the action of the Planning Commission by a vote of the majority of its membership. Failure of the Planning Commission to act within 60 days of a submission, unless the time is extended by the Board of Supervisors, shall be deemed approval. The owner or owners or their agents may appeal the decision of the Commission to the Board of Supervisors within 10 days after the decision of the Planning Commission. The appeal shall be by written petition to the Board of Supervisors setting forth the reasons for the appeal. The appeal shall be heard and determined within 60 days from its filing. A majority vote of the governing body shall overrule the Planning Commission.


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