PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor: 

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Planning Commission

March 12, 2009

Staff Lead:

Department: 

Andrew Hushour, Assistant Zoning Administrator

Community Development

 

Topic:

A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments to Articles 5, 13 and 14 Regarding Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Procedures and Application Requirements

 

Topic Description:

The proposed text amendment makes a number of changes to Zoning Ordinance provisions intended to bring the Ordinance into compliance with Virginia Code requirements related to

1) Board of Zoning Appeals procedures and 2) extended review times where required by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).  The amendment also changes and clarifies submission requirements for special permits and appeal cases, and clarifies the number of copies needed for special exceptions, rezonings, and comprehensive plan amendments.

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

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

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.

Summary Staff Report:

Staff has identified a number of needed revisions to the Zoning Ordinance regarding the application and public hearing processes for Special Exceptions and Special Permits. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to ensure that County requirements and procedures are in harmony with the regulations set forth in Title 15.2 of the Code of Virginia and with actual procedures currently being utilized, and to clarify existing procedures to ensure more complete applications and a more efficient process for review of these cases.  

The proposed changes and reasons for each change are listed below.

Section 5-009.4

This amendment will change the deadlines for filing special permit applications, requiring they be submitted 35 days prior to the BZA meeting rather than the current 24-day deadline.  As staff reports must be sent out a week prior to the meeting date, staff typically has only two weeks to review the cases and write the reports.  Frequently, the Health Department and VDOT are unable to provide comments before the reports go out because of the short turn-around period.  The increase to 35 days will give staff closer to four weeks. 

Section 5-009.5

This amendment will change the deadlines for filing special exception applications, requiring they be submitted 60 days prior to the Planning Commission meeting rather than the current 40-day deadline.  The existing timeframe does not give staff adequate time to complete the review or prepare reports; often, comments are being received from review agencies the same day the reports must be produced for delivery to the Planning Commission.   The additional review time will allow staff to improve coordination with outside review agencies, reducing confusion about issues at the actual meeting.  For simple case review, State agencies are authorized a 45-day review under State law.  It is anticipated that despite the longer lead time for applications, overall time for having applications approved will not be increased, as fewer deferrals will be necessary because of outstanding issues. 

This amendment also clarifies that the Commission has longer to act in certain cases where the Virginia Administrative Code gives VDOT a review time up to 120 days (24 VAC 30-155-40 and 15.2-2222.1).

Section 5-009.7

This amendment clarifies that the BZA has 90 days from the time of filing a complete application to act, unless the applicant agrees to more time.  The change would bring the Zoning Ordinance into compliance with Virginia Code Section 15.2-2312.

Section 5-011.I

This amendment requires more detailed information to be submitted with special permit applications so that staff and the BZA can adequately evaluate applications.  The application requirements proposed are similar to the existing requirements for special exceptions.  In addition, the number of copies of materials required to be submitted has changed from 4 to 16 for special permits and from 10 to 15 for special exceptions.  The larger number of copies is actually needed and is already required to assure that adequate copies are available for review staff and the BZA and Commission members.  Staff has also taken this opportunity to renumber the section, as it currently utilizes a format inconsistent with the remainder of the Ordinance.

Section 5-011.II

This amendment increases the number of copies of various materials required to be submitted for Special Exception applications from 10 to 15, the number  actually needed and that has  historically been required (to assure adequate copies for review staff and Planning Commission).  Staff has also taken this opportunity to renumber the section, as it currently utilizes a format inconsistent with the remainder of the Ordinance.

Section 13-202.2.B

This section currently states that rezoning applications will be scheduled for a Planning Commission public hearing no later than 90 days from the filing date.  In some cases, the Virginia Administrative Code gives VDOT a review time up to 120 days (24 VAC 30-155-40 and 15.2-2222.1) and the language is being amended to reflect this possible exception.

Section 13-202

This amendment increases the number of copies of various materials required to be submitted for Rezoning and Comprehensive Plan Amendment applications from 10 to 15, the number  actually needed and that has  historically been required (to assure adequate copies for review staff and Planning Commission). 

Section 13-303

This amendment clarifies the filing requirements for an Appeal of a Zoning Administrator decision, including specifying the use of the form, requirement for a fee, procedures, and a requirement for more detailed explanation for the grounds of the appeal.   There is some confusion regarding the need to file an application and it is not unusual to receive a letter saying little more than I disagree.    The intent is to provide more guidance to applicants so that they do not lose the opportunity to appeal a decision because of improper filing, and so that the reasons for the disagreement are identified in the appeal application and, therefore, better able to be considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Section 14-205

This change clarifies that four members of the BZA shall constitute a quorum necessary to render a decision on all matters.  This change will bring BZA procedures in the Ordinance into compliance with the Virginia Code.

Section 14-206

This amended language requires a copy of the application to be sent to the Planning Commission, rather than a summary.  The revised language will also clarify that the Planning Commission may make recommendations to the BZA on a case, including appearing before the BZA to present comments.  This change will bring the Zoning Ordinance into compliance with Virginia Code.

The Planning Commission initiated this proposal at the regularly scheduled meeting held on October 30, 2008. Planning Commission public hearings for this proposed amendment were held on December 10, 2008 and January 29, 2009, at which time the Planning Commission unanimously recommended to the Board of Supervisors approval of the text amendment as set forth in the attached Ordinance.

 

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

 

Fauquier County Citizens
Department of Community Development
Board of Zoning Appeals

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