Board of Supervisors Hearing Date:

Raymond E. Graham, Vice Chairman, Cedar Run District Supervisor


August 9, 2007


Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development




A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 3-300 and/or Section 5-2100 to Allow Certain Incidental Uses at Airports


Topic Description:

This proposed text amendment would allow certain incidental uses at airports.


Requested Action of the Planning Commission:

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


Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Summary Staff Report:

A recent request by EDS to utilize the runways at Hartwood Airport (located at the Stafford County Line on Crupp Road)  raised a question of whether or not more flexibility is warranted for use of existing airports.  EDS has signed a lease to utilize an existing runway at Hartwood Airport for the testing of vehicle sensors.  The testing involves driving a vehicle down the runway at approximately 40-60 mph, through a canopy-type structure (toll booth) equipped to read a transmission from the vehicle, testing the sensor technology.  According to the applicant, the planned tests are similar to the “fast pass” toll road sensors and will occur on-site one day per month. 

There is no current use category in the zoning ordinance which would allow this activity at the Hartwood Airport, which is zoned RA/Rural Agriculture.  The use category  “Limited Industrial” seems most appropriate and is allowed in the RA zone with special exception; however, uses are limited in that category to those occurring indoors.   

The airport itself is authorized by special exception approval, and typically as part of this approval accessory incidental uses would be allowed, provided they are somehow related to airport use.  However, in this case the proposed use has nothing to do with airport use and therefore cannot reasonably be considered an accessory use to the airport.   The airport setting is ideal in this case primarily because of the availability of the existing paved area (runway) for driving the vehicle at necessary speeds. 

Two alternatives are proposed for the text amendment.  The first adds a new standard for airports that would allow incidental non-airport related uses to be approved as part of an airport special exception, with a limitation that the use be transportation related (the airport use is under the transportation category).   This approach would require an amendment to the Hartwood Airport SE to include the incidental use.  The proposed new standard is:

      An airport and/or runways may be utilized for transportation uses that are minor in area and extent and not normally associated with an airport, when presented and specifically authorized as part of the special exception. 

The second alternative would allow incidental transportation related uses to be approved by separate administrative permit by the Zoning Administrator, with limitations aimed at allowing only those uses that are transportation related and which have minimal or no potential impacts.

The Board of Supervisors initiated the proposed text amendment at their June 7, 2007 meeting.  The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the text amendment on July 26, 2007 and unanimously recommended approval of the alternative allowing administrative approval of incidental uses. The Planning Commission recommended an additional standard for such administrative approvals, requiring incidental uses to be restricted to hard surface runways only.


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

Department of Economic Development

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