time, the Service District Citizen Planning Committees and
the Planning Commission have questioned allowing residential
density credit for land located within the designated 100
year floodplain. Such areas need to be protected and used
as open space. The Service District Plans mark these as
primary open space/environmental resource areas.
Development within floodplains is exceptionally restricted,
with no residential units allowed to be constructed within
or within 25 feet of the floodplain. Many question the
rationale for providing residential density credit for
floodplain which is going to be preserved, just to increase
the number of homes placed on the floodplains developable
recommended that Section 2-308.4 of the Zoning Ordinance,
which addresses density calculations, be revised. The
proposed revision would affect density calculation in all
residential districts. Density calculations in the rural
districts (RA and RC) would not change and would continue to
have full density credit for land in floodplain.
proposed revision is:
4. In all other
zoning district categories, the maximum density shall be
calculated on the gross area of the lot except that:
(50) percent No density allowance shall be
calculated on that area of a lot comprised of floodplain,
quarries or existing water bodies.
B. Only thirty
(30) percent density allowance shall be calculated on that
area of a lot comprised of slopes in excess of twenty-five
(25) percent grade.
Only fifty (50) percent density allowance shall be
calculated on that area of a lot comprised of slopes in
excess of fourteen (14) percent but equal to or less than
twenty-five (25) percent grade.
No density allowance shall be calculated for any area
of a lot in an existing street right-of-way.
This ordinance has no impact of allowed uses of land.
This ordinance will not affect a lot which is otherwise
buildable today; buildable lots are grandfathered by §
Planning Commission’s public hearing, the question was
raised about the fairness of removing floodplain density in
residential districts but not from conservation and
agricultural districts; a lack of uniformity was suggested.
uniformity requirement is found in Virginia Code § 15.2-2282
(emphasis added): “All zoning regulations shall be uniform
for each class or kind of buildings and uses throughout each
district, but regulations in one district may differ from
those in other districts.”
example, there is no requirement in the law for the
regulations in an Agriculture (RA) or Conservation (RC)
zones to be the same as a Residential (R-1) zone. The RA
and RC zones are designed in the Code and Comprehensive Plan
to protect open space, agriculture, silviculture, and
conservation uses. There is nothing discriminatory in
having one set of regulations for such purposes and another
set of regulations for concentrated residential development
which is principally in service districts.
26, 2004, the Planning Commission voted to initiate the text
amendment and schedule a public hearing. On December 8,
2004, the Planning Commission unanimously voted to forward
the text amendment to the Board of Supervisors with the
recommendation that it be adopted.