Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the Farm Worker Housing ZTA which you originally submitted to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. I discussed the Board’s concerns with the Farm Bureau directors. We have several observations.
Re. special use permits, we hope that these will not be required, as they would entail significant increases in expense and time. We submit that such permit requirements should not be necessary after staff approval of a concept plan. After all, this process applies only to smaller concentrations of 20 or fewer temporary occupants.
Re. commercial entrances, if we understand the item correctly, it is not clear to us why this should be a matter of concern. These worker housing facilities would be adjuncts to agricultural/commercial enterprises which would presumably have other access requirements and restrictions overriding the housing application.
Re. “substandard housing” and misuse of the category, wouldn't most such concerns be answered by other rental and housing restrictions already existing? It would seem that the requirements for separate dining and/or bathing facilities should preclude most incentives to misuse such housing for permanent or non-worker use.
The proposal you originally submitted has a good precedent, in our view, in the 1930’s CCC camp near White Hall. By all accounts we have seen, the camp served its purpose without damage to the community or any lasting problems.
It seems to us that our leaders might be wise to focus more attention on the benefits of such housing facilities to enterprises that add both revenue and desirable surroundings to the County rather than on whatever possibilities there may be for individual misuse. Any program can be subject to some degree of misuse, but reasonable monitoring and enforcement efforts should suffice to deal with whatever temptation for unfair advantage there might be in this one.
Thanks for all your efforts on this issue.
Albemarle County Farm Bureau
3977 Stony Point Road
Keswick, Virginia 22947
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