Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Terrence L. Nyhous, Chairman, Center District Supervisor


January 14, 2010


Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Sections 2-705 and 15-300 to Clarify that a Residence and its Accessory Structures and Uses are Allowed Within Non-Common Open Space


Topic Description:

The proposed text amendment clarifies that a non-common open space parcel may be developed with a residence and its accessory structures and uses, such as garages, sheds, home occupations, etc.   The existing text of the Zoning Ordinance seems to not allow this, yet historically, a residence and its accessory structures and uses have always been allowed in practice.  


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached Ordinance.


Staff Report:

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:

These 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 “commercial” uses.

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, 2009 meeting.


Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.

Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

Agricultural Development Office
Land Owners

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