New Setbacks and Business Restrictions Discussed at Greene County Planning Commission

By. Kara Reese Pennella

Action Summary

OR#08-004 Greene County Zoning Ordinance Revision to B-1, B-2 and B-3, Business Zoning Districts –Approved

Nomination of B. Martin to Serve as Liaison to the Town of Stanardsville –Approved

Nomination of A. Herring to Serve as Liaison to the Economic Development Authority –Approved

The Greene County Planning Commission took up the issue of uses permitted in each Business Zoning District in a public hearing on Wednesday March 18, 2009. The Planning Commission has been reworking the business zoning districts over the past several months with the goal of eliminating the need for businesses to seek B-3 zoning and then proffer out the most onerous uses.

Three members of the public spoke during the public hearing. However, it quickly became clear that citizens were interested in using the opportunity to seek increased regulations on local businesses.

A. Wilkerson of the Ruckersville Citizen Council stated that her issue was not with the uses but with the setback regulations. She believes that applicants will continue to only seek B-3 after this ordinance is revised. She also noted the County must address issues such as hours of operation, odors and security near new developments or people will leave Greene County.

Two additional citizens also addressed the Planning Commission seeking increased regulations on businesses. One citizen stated that people were being forced from their homes as a result of recent business rezoning. Several members of the Planning Commission seemed to agree with citizens concerns. B. Martin noted that the comments from citizens were “taken to heart.” N. Slezak repeated prior concerns that despite these changes developers would continue to seek only B-3 zoning and this created an unfair situation for homeowners.

D. Lamb generally agreed with N. Slezak. He added that the County needs to improve transitions between business and residential. J. Frydl felt that the Commission had gotten off-track with this discussion and noted that these concerns should be addressed in the Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of this public hearing was only to consider which uses will be permitted in each zoning district. The Planning Commission voted to approve the revisions to the Business District Zoning Ordinance as written.

Other Matters. In other planning matters the Commission appointed A. Herring to serve as liaison to the Economic Development Authority and B. Martin as liaison the Town of Stanardsville.

The Planning Commission also engaged in workshop training for the upcoming Public Hearing on the Multi-modal Workshop. The Workshop is scheduled for March 31, 2009 and will likely be the last workshop style meeting before moving into the public hearing stage of the Comprehensive Plan and Multi-Modal Corridor Study.

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