Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Planning Commission


October 14, 2004

Staff Lead:



W. Todd Benson, Assistant Zoning Administrator


Community Development



Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Create a Purchase of Development Rights Incentive District within Service Districts


Topic Description:


The proposed text amendment creates a new overlay district which provides the opportunity for residential development, only within designated service districts, to apply for a density bonus through the special exception process in exchange for agricultural preservation, historic preservation, open space/park creation and/or transportation corridor protection.  The incentive bonus will be available only within service districts, excluding the village service districts of Calverton, Catlett and Midland.  Total density, with the bonus, is limited to that established by the Comprehensive Plan. 


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Hold a public hearing on the proposed text amendment and consider the attached ordinance.


Financial Impact Analysis:



Summary Staff Report:

The Special Exception Concept Outline included herein provides the general framework for the proposed text amendment.  The actual proposed ordinance language subject to public hearing is attached with new language and additions underlined accordingly.


To summarize, the text amendment would establish a new overlay district which applies to all service districts except for the village service districts of Calverton, Catlett and Midland.  The purpose of the Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay (PDRI) is to preserve agricultural resources, historic resources, open space and parks, and opportunities for future transportation improvements.  The provision provides an incentive for residentially zoned properties within designated Service Districts to contribute to the stated objectives through the purchase of development rights, subject to standards and procedures established by the provision.


As proposed, the total density bonus for the project cannot exceed the number of development rights extinguished, nor can it exceed thirty percent of the base density, nor can the total density of the project, with bonus, exceed the maximum density established by the comprehensive plan.  Specific standards and procedures for the density bonus special exception are established in the ordinance.


The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed ordinance on August 26, 2004 and voted unanimously to recommend favorably the proposed ordinance to the Board of Supervisors.  Following the public hearing and discussion at the work session, staff and the County Attorney's office recommended the addition of Subsection (4) of Section 4-805 which provides that the subdivision shall be clustered and provides guidelines for reduction of open space to accommodate the additional density.  The added language is underscored in the attached ordinance.


Staff also recommends that the title of the overlay district be changed as follows:  Conservation Easement Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay District.  Conservation easements are well known and well understood in Virginia; conservation easements are favored public policy.  Since a purchased development right is reflected through an easement, either title is accurate.  But only one is embraced as favored public policy.


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


Property Owners






Special Exception Concept Outline

Proposed Ordinance Language