Planning Commission Recommendations to the Board of Supervisors

Phasing, Clustering, Family Divisions Framework Plan




The following list contains the framework of the major components of the proposed text amendment that would limit the rate of subdivision in the Rural Areas. 


  1. Subdivision rate:  a maximum of two lots in ten years (not including the parent parcel).
  2. No changes in the original assignment of development rights (as of December 1980).
  3. Phasing time clock begins with first subdivision following the adoption of this ordinance.
  4. Exceptions: family divisions; subdivisions for properties subject to conservation easements; lot line adjustments that do not create a new lot.



The following list contains the framework of the major components of the proposed text amendments that would address the design of the Rural Areas.  This framework addresses clustering exclusively.


  1. Clustering would be the mandated form of subdivision in the Rural Areas.
  2. Exceptions:  family divisions; properties that would not result in the preservation of a parcel too small to  further the goals of the Guiding Principles for the Rural Areas (Attachment D);  subdivisions of properties subject to conservation easements; lot line adjustments that do not create a new lot.
  3. The unfragmented preservation of resources identified in the Comprehensive Plan's first Guiding Principle for Rural Areas are the primary considerations for defining the areas to be protected.
  4. Pre-application conferences would be required to identify areas to be preserved (the no-build areas).
  5. As currently required, a sketch plan would be required to determine the actual number of potential divisions with the preliminary subdivision (conventional subdivision sketch plan).
  6. A maximum of one preservation parcel per cluster, unless it can be ascertained that one additional preservation parcel would further the preservation of resources, as identified by the Guiding Principles for Rural Areas.
  7. All residential lots would be required to be accessed from interior roads.
  8. Some areas to be preserved, such as critical slopes, could be located within residential lots, if left undisturbed and where that location furthers the unfragmented preservation of resources. 
  9. One primary residential dwelling unit would be allowed on the preservation parcel; one secondary residential unit, requiring the use of a development right and compliance with all zoning ordinance regulations, also could be permitted on the preservation parcel, to serve a farm manager. 
  10. If it could established that the maximum 2-acre residential lot could not accommodate a well and/or septic and that redesign of the subdivision would not reduce or eliminate the need for additional acreage, administrative approval to achieve a maximum of one additional acre would be available.
  11. "Pods" or small clusters of lots in more than one area within the subdivision may be permitted, if it can be established that these pods/small clusters would have a greater benefit to the resources to be preserved.
  12. Maximum lot size of 2-acres for residential parcels that would be required to be clustered together to minimize fragmentation of preservation areas.
  13. There would be no limit to the number of residential lots contained in a Rural Cluster subdivision.
  14. Encourage the connectivity of conservation land wherever feasible by locating the conservation easement adjacent to other conservation easement properties. 


Phasing and Clustering Combined:

Combining phasing and clustering presents some unique considerations.  In addition to the major components of phasing and clustering (listed above), the following lists the major components related to the simultaneous operation of both ordinances.


1.       Preservation parcel would be recorded with the first phase, in order for the County to determine links/connections to other potential preservation parcels and easements and ensure the permanent protection of resources.

2.       Preservation parcel would be exempt from phasing requirements.

3.       First phase could include a minimum of four lots (parent parcel, two new residential lots, and the preservation parcel), thereby, triggering a requirement for a public road standard.

4.       Each parcel (created prior to December 1980) could use its phasing potential to locate into one cluster development (as with current RPDs).

5.       Future development rights would stay with the parent parcel.


Family Divisions:

If excluded from phasing and clustering regulations, the Commission recommends a concurrent ZTA to extend the time of ownership to 5 years before and 5 years after the creation of a family division.  The current regulations do not have a time of ownership prior to the family division and require family ownership for the two years following the division.


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