COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Farm Stands Zoning Text Amendment

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Resolution of Intent to amend the regulations pertaining to the sale of farm products in the Rural Areas

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, McCulley, and Cilimberg

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

October 7, 2009

 

ACTION:                                     INFORMATION: 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

      ACTION:   X                          INFORMATION: 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The County’s zoning regulations pertaining to the sale of farm products in the Rural Areas was brought to the Board’s attention as a result of a recent zoning complaint regarding the off-site sale of farm products at the intersection of Garth Road and Free Union Road.

 

For the most part, the current regulations pertaining to the sale of farm products in the Rural Areas pre-date the adoption of the Rural Areas Plan in 2005.  Two of the guiding elements of the County’s vision for rural Albemarle County, as expressed in the Rural Areas Plan, are: “A strong agricultural and forestal economy, with large unfragmented parcels of land on which to produce their goods, opportunities to gain value from processing their own produce, and access to local markets” and “Plans, policies and decision making that consider and protect rural economies and ecological processes.”  One of the guiding principles of the Rural Areas Plan is to “Provide support to local and agricultural and forestal economies and connect local producers and consumers of local rural products.”

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal Two:  Protect the County’s Natural, Scenic and Historic Resources

 

 

DISCUSSION:

Staff recommends that the Zoning Ordinance’s regulations pertaining to the sale of farm products in the Rural Areas be studied and amended as necessary to fulfill the vision and principles of the Rural Areas Plan.  Current regulations pertaining to wayside stands (Zoning Ordinance §§ 5.1.19 and 10.2.1(5)) and farm sales (Zoning Ordinance §§ 5.1.35 and 10.2.2(45) require that the sales take place on the farm.  Thus, one key goal of the proposed regulations would be to expand the locations at which farm products may be sold in the Rural Areas. Though allowed by right in the Rural Areas district, wayside stands are allowed only with approval of a preliminary site plan.  Farm sales are allowed only by special use permit.  Accordingly, another key goal of the proposed regulations will be to implement reasonable processes that assure that public health and safety considerations are addressed but which are economical and expeditious given the proposed use.  As part of this process, Staff would hold a community roundtable with interested parties to receive input about the proposed regulations. 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Staff is not aware of any budget impacts that would be caused by the adoption of this proposed ordinance.  Approval of a particular farm stand, as with other zoning applications, will involve a review fee to cover staff costs.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Adopt the Resolution of Intent to Amend the Zoning Ordinance attached as Attachment A.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

A:  Resolution of Intent

 

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