UPDATE 3/12/2019: Shenandoah County Planning Commission voted to approve text amendment allowing for smaller lot sizes. Text amendment will now go to Board of Supervisors for a vote at March 26th Board meeting.
You may recall the Alliance was tracking a proposal in Shenandoah County to address requests for development options to allow smaller lot sizes than provided within existing residential zoning districts.
Communities in the County helped us contact members of the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission to ask them to slow the process down so County planning staff could put together a more complete plan – one that addressed questions raised from County officials and the public.
Given additional time by the Board of Supervisors, County planning staff worked hard to get broad input. They brought stakeholders representing home builders, realtors and conservation communities together and used this input to create a new rural residential zoning district to allow smaller lot sizes on property served by public utilities. These requests would go through the County’s rezoning process, which includes a public hearing and agency review of site-specific conditions of the proposed development.
We applaud the County for taking the time to develop a more complete and collaborative process allowing for community-wide input. We hope the County will continue to undertake such efforts to ensure our zoning ordinances are not only consistent throughout but also support the County’s comprehensive plan — pointing new growth in and around the towns where there is access public utilities, making sure our working rural landscapes are preserved. Let’s be sure we are creating livable, walkable communities with amenities, such as connected streets, sidewalks, parks and other features, that make small town living appealing to all ages and income groups.
To review the proposed residential zoning district ordinance, click here.[Image source.]