Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

R. Holder Trumbo, Jr., Chairman, Scott District Supervisor

March 12, 2009


Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator

Community Development



A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Sections 3-305 and 5-500 to Allow Technical Schools in the I-2/Industrial Zoning District with Special Exception Approval


Topic Description: 

The proposed text amendment allows the Board of Supervisors, through the Special Exception process, to approve a Technical School in the I-2/Industrial Zoning District. 


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.


Staff Report:

Staff recently received an inquiry about locating a technical school within the planned Mill Run Business Park located off Route 29 in New Baltimore, which is Zoned I-2/Industrial.   The particular proposal in this case was for a physical training school, where a personal trainer intensively trains up to four individuals at a time, by appointment only.    The training is not generally on machines, as in a gym, but would typically involve running and jumping and working in a large indoor space with fitness balls.  The activity could be potentially noisy, and the potential operator concluded that warehouse type space would best suit the operation.  However, the I-2 zoning would not allow the use in this case.

Generally, Technical Schools have been omitted from the I-2 District because I-2 uses are generally heavier type uses where operation and/or significant storage is outdoors and where there is potentially significant heavy truck traffic.  Generally, public access uses are discouraged in the district because of the nature of these heavier permitted uses.   The specific proposal in this case raised the broader question of whether or not there may be certain types of technical schools that would be better suited, on balance, to I-2 areas; for example, a welding school.    The specific proposal in this case also raised the question of whether there are some I-2 zoned locations, such as the Mill Run Business Park, where some or most of the planned uses are more akin to those found in the I-1 district (i.e., light industry, warehousing, etc.)  Since technical schools are allowed in the I-1 district with a special permit, allowing a technical school in the I-2 district where the nearby uses are more akin to I-1 seems reasonable to consider.  

The proposal is to allow such schools to be approved through the special exception process.  Clearly, not all technical schools would be appropriate in all I-2 locations. The special exception process would allow the Planning Commission and Board to carefully consider the unique characteristics of the proposed location as well as the unique characteristics of the proposed technical school on a case-by-case basis.    Additional special exception standards are proposed to assure that no technical school serving small children would be located in the I-2 district and to assure that potential conflicts between the school and other potential uses in the I-2 district are carefully considered.

The Board of Supervisors initiated this text amendment on November 13, 2008.  The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the amendment on January 29, 2009 and unanimously recommended approval.


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

Department of Economic Development


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