Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Raymond E. Graham, Chairman, Cedar Run District Supervisor

August 10, 2006


Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development


A Resolution Initiating  Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments to Sections 3-312, 3-313, 3-400,  5-1200, 5-1300 and 15-300 to Amend Approval Requirements for Commercial Retail and Business Uses


Topic Description:

This text amendment is one of a series of text amendments being brought forward to improve the clarity and flexibility of the Zoning Ordinance, with particular emphasis on supporting and promoting business development.  This amendment changes whether certain commercial uses are allowed by-right, with an administrative permit, by special permit, or by special exception.  The amendment also adds and revises standards applying to the approval of certain commercial uses.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the attached resolution.

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Summary Staff Report: 

This text amendment proposes changes to the Zoning Ordinance related to two categories of commercial uses:  Category 12-Commercial retail and Category 13-Commercial business and personal services.    The proposed changes broaden the uses allowed in various districts.  The changes also seek to reduce approval requirements where appropriate, particularly by consolidating approvals up-front where possible.  The proposed changes are also intended to bring more consistency to the regulations by adjusting requirements so that more review is provided in the C-1/Neighborhood Commercial and CV/Village Commercial districts as compared to the more intense C-2/Commercial Highway and C-3/Commercial Shopping Center districts.   

More specifically, the proposed amendments accomplish the following:

·        Allows more (up to 20,000 sq. ft. compared to the existing 5,000 sq. ft. limit) retail/shopping center uses in the C-1/Commercial Neighborhood and CV/Commercial Village zones without approval of a special permit.   The 5,000 sq.ft. to 20,000 sq.ft. levels of retail/shopping center are proposed to be allowed by approval of an Administrative permit, subject to certain standards that limit the size and scale of individual retail uses to one appropriate in these neighborhood oriented areas.  Hence, a 20,000 sq. ft. building with a 10,000 sq. ft. footprint would not be allowed administratively, but four 5,000 square foot retail uses each built to a smaller “townhouse” scale footprint could be approved administratively.  As the administrative approval could be processed concurrent with required site plans, one separate step in the approval process is eliminated, saving potential time in the process.

·        Clarifies the distinction between “Retail Sales Establishment” and “Shopping Center,” which has historically created confusion and potential delays.   Allows shopping centers over 50,000 sq. ft. in the C-2 Commercial Highway district, with approval of a special exception (not currently allowed, although a single store of more than 50,000 sq. ft. is allowed by special exception).  For consistency, also adds requirement for special exception for a shopping center over 50,000 sq. ft. for the C-3 commercial district (now up to 200,000 sq.ft. shopping center allowed by right), in recognition that a large center could potentially have significant impacts.   Although this change adds an additional approval requirement for large shopping centers in the C-3 district at the onset, this change is offset by a decrease in subsequently required approvals for individual uses.

·        Clarifies and expands the uses that can be placed within an approved “Shopping Center” without the need for further approvals, to include most office, eating establishment, retail, personal service and business uses.  For example, if a fast food eating establishment wants to locate within an approved shopping center, it currently requires special permit approval.  This recently occurred where a Pizza Hut carry-out restaurant wanted to locate at Bealeton Station shopping center. The proposed change would allow the use to go into an existing approved shopping center provided all zoning Ordinance requirements can be met (i.e. parking).  As amendments to additional categories of uses in the zoning Ordinance are proposed, it is anticipated that additional uses will be identified to be allowed by-right in a shopping center, including such uses as amusement arcades, auto-parts shops (no installation), indoor technical schools, etc.

·        Eliminates certain specific categories of retail uses (antique shops over 3,000 sq. ft., furniture stores, gift shops) allowing these retail uses to go anywhere where retail/shopping center uses are allowed subject to the same limitations as retail/shopping center uses.  Note, the “antique shops less than 3,000 square feet” is maintained as a separate category to allow such small shops to continue to be considered in the RC/RA and R-1 districts, where other retail uses are not allowed.

·        Eliminates the distinction between professional offices and business offices, combining them into a single “office category” that is then categorized by size.  As with retail, a new category is introduced for offices 5,000 sq. ft. to 20,000 sq. ft. in size, allowing increased levels of office space in the C-1 and CV zoning districts with approval of an administrative permit rather than a special permit. 

·        Creates a new laundry/dry-cleaning category, for drop-off and pick-up only (as opposed to processing), allowed in every commercial district and I-1 light industrial.  Also changes the break-point for other laundry/dry-cleaning facilities from 3,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft., consistent with other uses in the commercial business category.

·        Adds “repair service establishment;” “furniture repair, cabinet making, upholstery,” “barber/beauty shop”; “carpentry, plumbing, electrical, printing, welding, sheet metal shops” and “photographic studio” to additional zoning districts. Also changes approvals required in some cases. All changes are highlighted in red.  The proposed changes are intended to eliminate gaps and inconsistencies in the Ordinance.  Uses allowed in the smaller scale neighborhood oriented districts (C-1 and CV) are added to the other commercial districts where not currently allowed.  For example, “furniture repair, cabinet making, upholstery;” shops over 5,000 sq. ft. are now allowed in C-1 with a special permit, but are not allowed at all in C-2, C-3 or CV.  The proposed language adds the use to the additional commercial districts.  The proposed changes also bring more consistency to where a use is allowed by-right versus with a special permit; in some cases uses allowed in the smaller scale neighborhood oriented districts by right require more stringent approvals in other commercial districts.  For example, currently a “laundry, dry-cleaning establishment, laundromat” use is allowed in C-1 and CV by-right, with a special permit required in C-2.  The proposed change makes the use a special permit in the lower density, neighborhood oriented districts, and makes the use by right-in the more intense C-2 district. 

·        Eliminates barber/beauty shop from the rural and residential districts; however, it is proposed these uses be added back in as a home occupation under separate amendment.  The existing standards for the barber/beauty shop in rural and residential zones already require that the use meet the home occupation standards.

·        Creates a drive-through facility as a separate use requiring a special permit, regardless of whether or not it is associated with a bank, a restaurant, a drug-store or any other use. 

·        Adds additional commercial uses to the I-1/Industrial district to allow development of more flex/warehouse/office type uses as opposed to only pure industrial uses.  New uses added include:  offices, repair services, laundry/dry cleaning facilities, barber/beauty shop and photographic studio.

·        Offices are currently allowed in rural and residential zones under two categories: “Office, professional 3 or less employees” and “Office, professional 6 or less employees.” The text amendment combines the offices uses into a single category “Office, 6 or less employees.”    The change broadens the types of offices allowed in these districts, but continues to require a special permit for all such offices and continues to limit the number of employees to six.


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

Department of Economic Development

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