Project Name: AFD2009-39 Hardware AFD Addition

Staff: Eryn Brennan, Senior Planner

Planning Commission Public Hearing:  November 10, 2009

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: December 2, 2009

Proposal: Addition to the Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas

RECOMMENDATION: That the Planning Commission recommend approval of the addition to the Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District.





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


Sec. 3-214 Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District.

The district known as the "Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District" consists of the following described properties: Tax map 73, parcels 38, 39C, 41A, 41B1, 41B2, 42, 42A, 43, 44; tax map 74, parcels 26, 28; tax map 86, parcels 14, 16A, 16C, 16D, 16E, 16F, 27; tax map 87, parcels 10, 13A, 13E (part consisting of 89.186 acres); tax map 88, parcels 2A, 3V, 6A, 20A, 20B, 20C, 20D, 20F, 23, 23E, 23F, 24, 24A, 26B, 29, 40, 42; tax map 99, parcels 29, 52. This district, created on November 4, 1987 for not more than ten years and last reviewed on September 12, 2007, shall next be reviewed prior to September 12, 2017.

(Code 1988, 2.1-4(h); Ord. No. 98-A(1), 8-5-98; Ord. 00-3(2), 7-12-00; Ord. 07-3(2), 9-12-07)


The Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District is located around the North Garden area of Albemarle County (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 1987, and originally included 5,947.24 acres. An additional 16 parcels and 570.08 acres were added to the District from 1989 to 2007. However, 2,382.36 acres were removed during the 1997 review, and 1,135.98 acres were removed during the 2007 review. The District now includes 45 parcels and 2,998.97 acres (Attachment B). 


Agricultural and Forestal District Significance: Of the 2,998.97 acres that comprise the Hardware District, 1003.72 acres are enrolled in the Forestry category of the land-use taxation program, and 655.38 acres are enrolled in the Agricultural category.


Land Use other than Agriculture and Forestry:  In addition to agricultural and forestry uses, the district includes 31 dwellings.


Local Development Patterns: The District primarily consists of large forested parcels and large farm parcels. Several parcels in the District are under conservation easement (Attachment C).


Comprehensive Plan Designation and Zoning Districts: The Hardware District is entirely designated as Rural Areas in the Comprehensive Plan, and the parcels included in the District are zoned RA Rural Areas. A large cluster of parcels located around North Garden are zoned Village Residential (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. Portions of the Hardware District are located in the North Fork Hardware River, South Fork Hardware River, Moores Creek, Ragged Mountain Reservoir, and Upper Meachums River watersheds (Attachment C).


Time Period: The Hardware District is currently on a 10-year review cycle. The District is scheduled to be reviewed on September 12, 2017.



One application has been submitted requesting to add one parcel to the Hardware 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 Hardware Agricultural & Forestal District was created on November 4, 1987, and was last reviewed on September 12, 2007. The District currently includes 45 parcels and 2,998.97 acres. The proposed addition of one parcel totaling 21 acres would increase the total number of acres in the Hardware District to 3,019.97.     


The parcel, Tax Map 74, Parcel 6N, is located north of Blandemar Drive (Attachment A).


The parcel is 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 addition to the Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District.


Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission recommend approval of the proposed addition to the Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District.



A.     Hardware District - Proposed Addition

B.     Hardware District - History

C.     Hardware District - Conservation Easements & Zoning

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