Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Ali Qureshi, Applicant


April 14, 2005

Staff Lead:



W. Todd Benson, Assistant Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 3-318 to Allow Petting Zoos by Special Use Permit or Special Exception in R-A Districts, to Add a New Section 5-1814 Setting Standards for Petting Zoos, and to Amend Section 15-300 Adding a Definition of Petting Zoos


Topic Description:


The amendments would allow, in R-A districts, subject to a special use permit or special exception, the commercial show and display of domesticated animals commonly found on American farms.


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:


Since July 2004, the Planning Commission considered the possibility of allowing petting zoos in R-A Districts and the related standards.  On November 20, 2004, Mr. Ali Qureshi formally applied for a zoning text amendment.  Mr.  Qureshi’s application is attached as Exhibit A.  As part of his application, Mr. Qureshi has included suggested Ordinance language.  Should the text amendment pass, Mr. Qureshi intends to submit an application to have a petting zoo on his property located at 11471 Kingsford Road, Bealeton.  Accordingly, Mr. Qureshi also has included information about his subsequent plans. 


On January 27, 2005, the Planning Commission held a public hearing.  Only Mr. and Mrs. Qureshi spoke.  The Planning Commission closed the public hearing and took the matter under advisement. On February 17, 2005, the Planning Commission voted to amend the proposed Ordinance as shown on Exhibit B.  Rather than allowing stand alone petting zoos on farm-like settings, the Planning Commission voted to require petting zoos as accessory uses to agricultural uses. In addition, the Planning Commission voted to restrict petting zoos to one animal unit per two acres.


Even with the adopted amendments, a majority of the Planning Commission thought that petting zoos were inappropriate. A motion to recommend favorably the amended text to the Board of Supervisors failed by a 3 – 2 vote.  A motion to recommend denial of the amended text passed by a 3 – 2 vote. However, should a petting zoo Ordinance pass, the Planning Commission has indicated that it wants the amended Ordinance rather than the Ordinance originally proposed.


The applicant submitted additional plans for his specific enterprise and a newspaper clipping.  These documents are also attached.


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

Department of Economic Development

Agricultural Development Office




1.  Exhibit A – Application Packet and Applicant’s Suggested Ordinance Language

2.  Exhibit B – Proposed Text Amendment

3.  Exhibit C – Additional Information 1 Submitted by the Applicant, Additional Information 2