Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Department of Community Development

March 17, 2003

Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator

Community Development


Amendment to Section 15-300 (Definitions) of the Zoning Ordinance Regarding Agriculture

Topic Description:

The Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on February 24 regarding the proposed text amendment on the definition of agriculture as its pertains to forestry products.  Action was postponed due to concerns raised regarding the proposed language and impacts upon property owners.  Two specific areas dealt with mulch and logging operations.

One question arose over the exclusion of “…the manufacture, processing or storage of mulch…” from the definition of agriculture.  The concern being farmers or land owners could not manufacture or store mulch on their properties for their specific agricultural uses.  The revised text now reads “…the manufacture, processing or storage of mulch made from off-site materials or for commercial purposes…”

The second expressed concern dealt with the grading and sorting of trees and logs cut during a timbering operation.  The original proposed text amendment would prevent the importation of trees and logs from another site for sorting and grading procedures as an agricultural use.  The intent of the amendment was to prohibit parcels from becoming industrial operations where logs from a wide area are brought to a site for grading, sorting and shipping.

Board members cited the scenario of multiple contiguous properties, possibly with different owners,  being involved in a logging operation.  The original proposed amendment would have prevented the use of one centralized site among the parcels undergoing active logging for sorting, grading and loading.   Following consultation with County legal staff, the revised proposal now states “…(d) the sorting and grading of logs and trees except where the logs and trees are from on-site or from adjoining properties…”

The alteration would permit logs and trees to be assembled on one parcel for grading, sorting and loading, if that parcel is part of the ongoing logging operation.  A property may not be used for these purposes for a logging operation, unless the parcel is located within a Commercial or Industrial Zoning District, and the necessary authorization has been obtained via special permit, special exception or site plan.

The reworded definition is Attachment 1.  An ordinance for approval is Attachment 2.

Planning Commission Review and Recommendation:

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on January 23, 2003 on this proposed text amendment and forwarded with a recommendation for approval.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Consider the revised text amendment proposal as set forth in Attachment 1.  

 Financial Impacts Analysis:

No analysis was conducted for this proposed amendment. 

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

Community Development
County Attorney

Attachment 1                 Proposed text amendment

Attachment 2                 Ordinance for approval