COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name: AFD2009-25; AFD2009-40; AFD2009-53; AFD2009-57 Buck Mountain AFD Additions

Staff: Eryn Brennan, Senior Planner

Planning Commission Public Hearing:  November 10, 2009

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: December 2, 2009

Proposal:  Additions to the Buck Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas

 

RECOMMENDATION: That the Planning Commission recommend approval of the additions to the Buck Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

THE BUCK MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTAL DISTRICT

 

The Albemarle County Code currently contains this description of the District:

 

Sec. 3-209 Buck Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

The district known as the "Buck Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District" consists of the following described properties: Tax map 8, parcels 16A, 16C, 17E, 17F; tax map 17, parcels 26B, 26C, 26C1, 26C2, 26C3, 31 (part), 32. This district, created on January 4, 1989 for not more than 10 years and last reviewed on September 2, 2009, shall next be reviewed prior to September 2, 2019.

 

(4-12-95; Code 1988, 2.1-4(o); Ord. 98-A(1), 8-5-98; Ord. 99-3(1), 1-13-99; Ord. 99-3(5), 10-6-99; Ord.

09-3(2), 9-2-09)

 

The Buck Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District is located east of Buck Mountain and is bound by Free Union Road, Davis Shop Road, and Markwood Road (Attachment A)  The district is characterized by evergreen and deciduous forest, open pasture, agricultural fields, hedgerows, as well as occasional residential and agricultural buildings.

 

The District was created in 1989, and originally included 624.47 acres. In 1995, one parcel and 26.89 acres were added, and in 1999 one parcel and 13.55 acres were added. However, during the 1999 review 161.02 parcels were removed. The District now includes 12 parcels and 503.89 acres (Attachment B). 

  

Agricultural and Forestal District Significance: Of the 503.89 acres that comprise the Buck Mountain District, 141.69 acres are enrolled in the Forestry category of the land-use taxation program, while 137.37 acres are enrolled in the Agricultural category.

 

Land Use other than Agriculture and Forestry:  In addition to agricultural and forestry uses, the district includes five dwellings.

 

Local Development Patterns: The District primarily consists of large forested parcels and large farm parcels. One large parcel in the District is under conservation easements (Attachment C).

 

Comprehensive Plan Designation and Zoning Districts: The Buck Mountain District is entirely designated as Rural Areas in the Comprehensive Plan, and the parcels included in the District are zoned RA Rural Areas. A cluster of parcels abutting the western boundary of the District are zoned Planned Residential Development (Attachment C).

 

Environmental Benefits: The District includes woodland and agricultural fields. Protecting and preserving these properties in an Agricultural and Forestal District will help protect forest and rich farm land, which the Comprehensive Plan and Rural Areas Zoning Ordinances seek to preserve.  Conservation of this area will help maintain the environmental integrity of the County and aids in the protection of ground and surface water, agricultural soils, and wildlife habitat. The Buck Mountain District is located in the Buck Mountain Creek watershed. Three of the four proposed additions are located in the Beaverdam creek watershed (Attachment C).

 

Time Period: The Buck Mountain District is currently on a 10-year review cycle. The District is scheduled to be review on September 2, 2019.

 

Proposal:

Two applications have been submitted requesting to add four parcels to the Buck Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District, in accordance with Chapter 3, Sections 3-101, 3-201, 3-203 and 3-215 of the Albemarle County Code, which allows for additions of land to Agricultural and Forestal Districts.  The Buck Mountain Agricultural & Forestal District was created on January 4, 1989, and was last reviewed on September 2, 2009. The District currently includes 12 parcels and 503.89 acres. The proposed addition of five parcels totaling 123.10 acres would increase the total number of acres in the Buck Mountain District to 626.99.     

 

The parcels, Tax Map 8, Parcels 37, 44, and 43A, are located west of Markwood Road and north of Davis Shop Road. The parcel, Tax Map 17, Parcel 2D6, is located north of Davis Shop Road and east of Free Union Road (Attachment A).

 

The parcels are zoned Rural Areas with agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses as the preferred land use and includes a residential density of .5 unit per acre.  The Comprehensive Plan identifies these parcels as Rural Areas; focusing on the preservation and protection of agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources, including a residential density of .5 units per acre.

 

Agricultural and Forestal Districts Advisory Committee Recommendation: On October 19, 2009, the Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee recommended approval of the proposed additions to the Buck Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission recommend approval of the proposed additions to the Buck Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

Attachments:

A.     Buck Mountain District - Proposed Additions

B.     Buck Mountain District - History

C.     Buck Mountain District - Conservation Easements & Zoning

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