Greene County Planning Commission Contemplates the County’s Business Zoning

by. Kara L. Reese Greene County Field Officer

August 20, 2008

The Greene County Planning Commission considered the County’s business zoning districts at the first of what may be many work sessions on Wednesday, August 20th.  It did so at the request of the Board of Supervisors, who in light of a recent trend of developers seeking B-3 zoning designations then proffering out a laundry list of “heavy uses,” felt that a revamp of the Zoning Ordinance was long overdue. 

Before Wednesday all indicators showed these changes would be the type of practical updates Greene County needs to continue to grow in a manner consistent with its Comprehensive Plan. However, conversation took an unexpected turn at the Planning Commission’s work session. Board Members present at the meeting, as well as citizens, suggested additional restrictions and complicating factors be added to Greene’s ordinances. Among suggestions were adopting harmonious use requirements, incorporating additional architectural requirements to blend businesses with housing, using traffic counts to determine if a business falls under B-2 or B-3 Zoning, and requiring special use permits for all businesses that wish to operate after 10 pm. Suggestions, that while well meaning, would only complicate the legal landscape in Greene County and discourage businesses looking for an alternative to heavily regulated Albemarle and Charlottesville from relocating to Greene.

Instead of complicating matters the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission and citizens need to focus on the task at hand. Creating a straight forward, business friendly ordinance that solves the real obstacles businesses seeking to move to Greene County are facing. 

The Planning Commission will hold another work session on at 6:30 pm on September 17, 2008.

During their regular meeting the Planning Commission Recommended approval of OR#08-003 amending the Corner Lots provisions in Greene’s Zoning Ordinance. The amendments are intended to clarify current confusing language.

 The Planning Commission also discussed holding the “kick off” for work on the Comprehensive Plan during their September meeting. Public Meetings will begin shortly thereafter in September and early October.

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