Project Name: AFD2009-13; AFD2009-14; AFD2009-15; AFD2009-30 South Garden 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 South Garden Agricultural and Forestal District

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas


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





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


Sec. 3-225.5 South Garden Agricultural and Forestal District.

The district known as the “South Garden Agricultural and Forestal District” consists of the following described properties: Tax map 110, parcels 18, 27. This district, created on October 6, 1999 for not more than 7 years, since amended at its last review on October 4, 2006 to continue for not more than 10 years, shall next be reviewed prior to October 4, 2016.

(Ord. 99-3(5), 10-6-99; Ord. 06-3(1), 10-4-06)


The District is located south of South Garden and north of Bungletown (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 1999, and originally included 1,855.30 acres. No changes have occurred to the district since it was established.


Agricultural and Forestal District Significance: Of the 1, 855.30 acres that comprise the South Garden District, none is currently enrolled in land use.


Land Use other than Agriculture and Forestry: In addition to agricultural and forestal uses, the South Garden District includes approximately 8 dwellings.


Local Development Patterns: The District primarily consists of large forested parcels and large farm parcels. All of the parcels in the District are under conservation easements (Attachment B).


Comprehensive Plan Designation and Zoning Districts: The South Garden 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 adjacent to and abutting 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 South Garden District is located in the South Fork Hardware River and Green Creek watersheds (Attachment B).


Time Period: The South Garden District is currently on a 10-year review cycle. The District is scheduled to be reviewed on October 4, 2016.



Four applications have been submitted requesting to add four parcels to the South Garden 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 South Garden Agricultural & Forestal District was created on October 6, 1999, and was last reviewed on October 4, 2006. The District currently includes 3 parcels and 1,855.30 acres. The proposed addition of four parcels totaling 308.11 acres would increase the total number of acres in the South Garden District to 2,163.41.     


The parcel, Tax Map 99, Parcel 35, is located west of Plank Road. The parcels, Tax Map 11, Parcels 8 and 18E, are located west of Appleberry Mountain Road and south of Plank Road respectively. The parcel, Tax Map 109, Parcel 70, is located east of Cowan 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 South Garden Agricultural and Forestal District.


Staff Recommendation:

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



A.     South Garden District - Proposed Additions

B.     South Garden District - Conservation Easements & Zoning

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