Albemarle County Planning Commission

June 26, 2007



Work Sessions:


ZTA-2006-00001 Country Stores

Currently a large number of country stores throughout the County are threatened or have been lost; Advance Mill Supply was demolished in the spring of this year.  The proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance would help reverse this trend and allow existing country stores to continue their essential role in the culture and economy of rural Albemarle County.  In addition, staff hopes to encourage the creation of new country stores and broaden the re-use options for the owners of existing country store buildings. (Amy Arnold)


Ms. Arnold presented a power point presentation and summarized the staff report. 


In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session on ZTA-2006-0001 Country Stores.  Staff gave a power point presentation and explained the proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance.  The Commission reviewed, discussed, asked questions and made comments and suggestions.  There was no public comment. The Commission made the following comments:


         The Commission requested staff to provide a list of criteria or guidelines for how a country store use will be determined before the public hearing.

         Does restaurant use imply that food is made on site?

         The Commission requested a list of criteria that the Design Planner would use in their review and whether it will be administratively approved or forwarded to the Planning Commission.

         What impact will the new regulations have on development patterns?

         Would there be a time limit on how many years ago the country store operated?

         Signage needs to be considered in discussions about the use of the site or building.

         Lighting needs to be addressed.

         Staff was requested to provide the full language in the staff report for the ordinance regarding the exemptions.

         Staff was asked to add the date that the resolution of intent was adopted to the staff report.

         Some concern was expressed regarding the staffing cost since the report indicates that staff is currently overloaded. 

         It was suggested that staff look at similar ordinances as models. It might be helpful particularly to know what some of the potential pitfalls might be.

         The Commission asked staff to set a public hearing date as soon as possible after completing the proposed text and properly advertising it. 


The Planning Commission took a ten minute break at 7:34 p.m.


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