Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Douglas Darling/Frank Cox


April 9, 2009


Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 4-100 Related to Planned Residential Development


Topic Description:

The applicant proposes changes to the Planned Residential Development Special District provisions, including language related to uses, modifications, open space, stormwater management, buffers, transportation, approval, and waiver procedures.


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:

The applicant is proposing amendments to the Planned Residential Development (PRD) district in conjunction with a development he is planning in Marshall. The applicant has filed a Comprehensive Plan Amendment related to the planned development, which is currently pending as an incomplete application.  Although staff is generally aware of the proposed development, no detailed proposal has yet been received. The applicant intends to apply for the project utilizing the PRD provisions, as proposed to be amended herein.

The PRD district is a special district available through rezoning.  It is intended to facilitate predominately residential development, with limited commercial uses also authorized.  The PRD district has been used at five locations in the County: Brookside, Vint Hill, Cedar Brooke, Raymond Farm (unbuilt), and Freedom Place (unbuilt).   It is important to keep in mind that the proposed revisions would apply to the district as a whole, and could potentially affect existing PRD developments; particularly should they seek to amend existing approvals.

A detailed staff commentary on each of the applicant’s proposed changes to the PRD regulations is provided as Attachment 1.    

In general, staff finds many of the proposed changes unnecessary, and in some cases confusing or contradictory with existing language.   Much of the newly proposed language adds detailed language related to waivers of utility requirements, parking, open space, yards, etc. at various locations throughout the PRD regulations.  Staff has no objections to allowing such waivers, but the PRD district language already allows the Board to modify all provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance as part of the rezoning.   Staff does agree that it would be appropriate to add language to the PRD regulations expanding the Board’s waiver ability to include technical requirements contained in the Design Standards Manual (DSM).  At the time the PRD district was drafted, the DSM did not exist.

Staff is also concerned that because the applicant’s proposed language emphasizes certain types of available waivers throughout the regulations, the revised language could be read to suggest that other waivers are not available.  The proposed language also, in several cases, states that certain waivers are available to developments with particular elements, such as traditional neighborhood design or regional stormwater, implying that such modifications are not available to all PRD developments. While the applicant’s proposed project may include traditional neighborhood design and regional stormwater, it is not clear that these elements would also be desired at every location in the County.  Certainly, existing projects approved under the PRD district do not include such elements, but still received many waivers with the approval.  

Another issue raised by the proposed changes is that they seem to be drafted in support of details of the planned Marshall project, asking the Board to prejudge certain elements without review.  For example, the current PRD ordinance would allow regional stormwater management as part of the development, but the language proposed by the applicant actually gives preference to regional stormwater management in the PRD district.   Staff agrees that regional stormwater management may be the desired approach in certain areas of the County, particularly in Marshall, but we do not agree that it is the desired approach at all locations throughout the County, so to favor it in the PRD district seems inappropriate, given the PRD district’s county-wide application.  Likewise, language related to open space seems to promote the idea of an open space reduction.  Such reduction is already available, and an applicant can make the case for its appropriateness in the context of a particular development proposal.  The language proposed by the applicant, however, seeks to conclude that such a reduction is a good thing if a project is traditional in character, prejudging the proposal without allowing review of the proposal.

A third concern staff has with the applicant’s proposed changes is the use of language out of context with the remainder of the district.  For example, the language requires a “Code of Development,” a document the new Mixed Use (MU) district requires.  But, as expressed, the requirements for a Code of Development for a PRD district do not seem to be the same as that for a MU district, creating confusion.  It is not clear that the proposed language adds anything to the Ordinance, as the Ordinance already specifically requires design guidelines and architectural controls in any case.

Staff prepared an alternative set of changes to the PRD regulations, taking the issues and clarifications suggested by the applicant’s language and incorporating them in a way that staff believes is more helpful and consistent with the overall goals of the PRD district. 


The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed text amendment on January 29, 2009.   At that time, the applicant indicated that they supported the alternative language proposed by staff in lieu of the language changes they had originally proposed.  The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the alternative language on February 26, 2009. 


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

Department of Economic Development


Applicant’s Proposed Changes and Detailed Staff Comments

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