COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

 

Project Name:

AFD2009-20; AFD2009-29; AFD2009-40; AFD2009-53; AFD2009-66; AFD2009-71; AFD2009-73 Buck’s Elbow Mountain AFD - Creation

Staff: Eryn Brennan, Senior Planner

Planning Commission Public Hearing: November 10, 2009

 

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: December 2, 2009

 

Proposal: Creation of the Buck’s Elbow Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas

 

RECOMMENDATION: That the Planning Commission recommend approval of the creation of the Buck’s Elbow Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

 

 

THE BUCK’S ELBOW MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTAL DISTRICT

 

Proposal: Seven applications have been submitted requesting to create the Buck’s Elbow 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 the creation of Agricultural and Forestal Districts. The proposed District would include 14 parcels and 3,156.93 acres. The proposed District is located west of White and adjoins the Shenandoah National Park in western Albemarle County (Attachment A). The district is characterized by primarily wooded hills covered with evergreen and deciduous forest, with the occasional open pasture, agricultural field, and residence.

 

Agricultural and Forestal District Significance: Of the 3,156.93 acres that comprise the proposed Buck’s Elbow Mountain District, 1,002.76 acres are enrolled in the Forestry category of the land-use taxation program, and 182.12 are enrolled in the Agricultural category.

 

Land Use other than Agriculture and Forestry: In addition to agricultural and forestal uses, the proposed Buck’s Elbow Mountain District includes approximately 7 dwellings.

 

Local Development Patterns: The proposed District primarily consists of large forested parcels and large farm parcels. No parcels in the proposed District are under conservation easements (Attachment B).

 

Comprehensive Plan Designation and Zoning Districts: The proposed Buck’s Elbow Mountain District is entirely designated as Rural Areas in the Comprehensive Plan, and the parcels included in the District are zoned RA Rural Areas. The parcels adjoining the parcels in the proposed District are all zoned RA Rural Areas as well (Attachment B).

 

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.

 

Environmental Benefits: The proposed 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 proposed Buck’s Elbow Mountain District is located in the North Moorman’s River, Sugar Hollow/Moorman’s Forks, and Lickinghole Creek watersheds (Attachment B).

 

Time Period: The proposed Buck’s Elbow Mountain District would be under a 10-year review cycle, and would be scheduled to be reviewed on December 2, 2019.

 

Agricultural and Forestal Districts Advisory Committee Recommendation: On October 19, 2009, the Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee recommended approval of the proposed creation of the Buck’s Elbow Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

Staff Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission recommend approval of the creation of the Buck’s Elbow Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

Attachments:

A.     Buck’s Elbow Mountain District – Proposed District

B.     Buck’s Elbow Mountain District - Conservation Easements & Zoning

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