Section 2-705.1 of the Ordinance, as well as the definition of
non-common open space contained in Section 15-300, set forth the
uses that are allowed within non-common open space.
Section 2-705.1 requires that non-common open space be
restricted by deed to specific uses. Specifically:
restrictions shall include prohibition of commercial,
industrial, and residential development and shall appropriately
limit the use to those permitted uses shown in 3-318.
“Residential Development” is defined in the Zoning Ordinance as
“any development involving the creation of subdivided lots or
dwelling units on any lot of record as of May 21, 1981.”
Based on this definition, the last sentence of Section 2-705.1
arguably prohibits a dwelling unit from being constructed on the
property, as well as the types of accessory buildings and uses
typically associated with a dwelling unit (i.e., garage, tenant
house or efficiency apartment, pool, home occupations).
The definition for Non-Common Open Space found in Section 15-300
of the Zoning Ordinance elaborates further on the intended
nature of non-common open space. It states that
“[n]on-common open space may include structures allowed in
accordance with Paragraphs 6-102.2 and 6-102.14, as well as
those listed in the definition of OPEN SPACE above.”
Paragraphs 6-102.2 and 14 refer to barns and quarters of a
caretaker, watchman or tenant farmer (i.e., tenant house),
suggesting that these are the only structures allowed on
non-common open space, other than open space structures cited
under the definition of open space (playgrounds, fountains,
swimming pools, ponds).
Notwithstanding this language, it has been the practice of the
County, since the inception of the required 85 percent
non-common open space provision for rural properties, to allow a
residence and all of the accessory structures and uses typically
allowed for a residence. This would include non-agricultural
structures such as shops and garages as well as uses such as
home occupations, which some have argued are properly considered
The proposed text amendment clarifies that a residential unit
and all of its accessory structures are allowed and also seeks
to clarify the status of home occupations.
The Board of Supervisors initiated the proposed text amendment
on August 13, 2009. The Planning Commission held an initial
public hearing on September 24, 2009 and proposed revised
language to Section 2-705 intending to eliminate the ability for
any home occupation to have any outdoor storage, including the
parking of trucks and equipment or storage of materials.
Additional public hearings were held on the issue on October 29,
2009 and December 9, 2009. The Planning Commission unanimously
recommended approval of the text amendment at its December 9,