COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name: AFD2009-56 High Mowing 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 High Mowing Agricultural and Forestal District

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas

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

 

 

THE HIGH MOWING AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTAL DISTRICT

 

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

 

Sec. 3-216 High Mowing Agricultural and Forestal District.

The district known as the "High Mowing Agricultural and Forestal District" consists of the following described properties: Tax map 85, parcels 33B, 39, 39A1, 39H, 41A, 41A1. This district, created on January 16, 1991 for not more than 10 years and last reviewed on June 20, 2001, shall next be reviewed prior to January 16, 2011.

(Code 1988, 2.1-4(t); Ord. 98-A(1), 8-5-98; Ord. 01-3(1), 6-20-01)

 

The District is located south of Batesville (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 1991, and originally included 622.44 acres. No changes to the district have occurred since it was established in 1991.

 

Agricultural and Forestal District Significance: Of the 622.44 acres that comprise the High Mowing District, 199.02 acres are enrolled in the Agricultural category of the land-use taxation program, and 421.42 acres are enrolled in the Forestry category.

 

Land Use other than Agriculture and Forestry: In addition to agricultural and forestal uses, the High Mowing District includes approximately 2 dwellings.

 

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

 

Comprehensive Plan Designation and Zoning Districts: The High Mowing 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 District are all zoned RA Rural Areas as well (Attachment B).

 

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 High Mowing District is located in the Upper Mechums River watershed (Attachment B).

 

Time Period: The High Mowing District is currently on a 10-year review cycle. The District is scheduled to be reviewed on January 16, 2011.

 

Proposal:

One application has been submitted requesting to add one parcel to the High Mowing 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 High Mowing Agricultural & Forestal District was created on January 16, 1991, and was last reviewed on June 20, 2001. The District currently includes 6 parcels and 622.44 acres. The proposed addition of one parcel totaling 63.20 acres would increase the total number of acres in the High Mowing District to 685.64.     

 

The parcel, Tax Map 84, Parcel 69A, is located west of Stillhouse Creek Road (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 High Mowing Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

Staff Recommendation:

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

 

Attachments:

A.     High Mowing District - Proposed Addition

B.     High Mowing District - Conservation Easements & Zoning

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