COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name: AFD2009-6; AFD2009-7; AFD2009-21; AFD2009-72 Yellow 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 Yellow Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas

 

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

 

 

 

THE YELLOW MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTAL DISTRICT

 

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

 

Sec. 3-228 Yellow Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

The district known as the "Yellow Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District" consists of the following described properties: Tax map 54, parcel 71B; tax map 55, parcel 15; tax map 70, parcels 15, 15A, 15D, 15E, 29, 37B, 37B1 (part), 37D (part), 37K, 37L; tax map 71, parcels 2B, 22, 22A, 22B, 64, 64A. This district, created on March 8, 1989 for not more than 10 years and last reviewed on September 2, 2009, shall next be reviewed prior to September 2, 2019.

(Code 1988, 2.1-4(p); Ord. 98-A(1), 8-5-98; Ord. 99-3(1), 1-13-99, Ord. 99-3(4), 5-12-99; Ord. 09-3(3),9-2-09)

 

The parcels in the District are located in three general areas: 1) a cluster of parcels southwest of the 64W and 250 West interchange; 2) a second cluster of parcels north of Batesville, flanked by Dick Woods Road and Plank Road; and 3) a small cluster of parcels south of Plank Road, east of Ortman Road, and north of Dick Woods Road (Attachment A). While the first and third clusters are characterized by large farm parcels, the second cluster of parcels is primarily forested.

 

The District was created in 1989, and originally included 995.46 acres. In 1999, 2 parcels and 43.77 more acres were added. However, during the 1999 review, 397.57 acres were removed. The District now includes 17 parcels and 641.67 acres (Attachment B).

 

Agricultural and Forestal District Significance: Of the 641.67 acres that comprise the Yellow Mountain District, 161.20 acres are enrolled in the Agricultural category of the land-use taxation program, while 235.75 acres are enrolled in the Forestry category. Enrollment in these tax categories is an indicator of active rural land uses.

 

Land Use other than Agriculture and Forestry: In addition to agricultural and forestal uses, the Yellow Mountain District includes approximately 23 dwellings.

 

Local Development Patterns: The District primarily consists of large forested parcels and large farm parcels. Five parcels in the District, and many nearby, are under conservation easements (Attachment C).

 

Comprehensive Plan Designation and Zoning Districts: The Yellow Mountain District is entirely designated as Rural Areas in the Comprehensive Plan, and the parcels included in the District are zoned RA Rural Areas. Several parcels south of the second cluster and west of the third cluster 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 first cluster of parcels in the Yellow Mountain District is located in the Stockton Creek watershed. The two remaining clusters of parcels are located in the Upper Mechums River watershed. (Attachment C).

 

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

 

Proposal:

Four applications have been submitted requesting to add six parcels to the Yellow 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 Yellow Mountain Agricultural & Forestal District was created on March 8, 1989, and was last reviewed on September 2, 2009. The District currently includes 17 parcels and 641.67 acres. The proposed addition of six parcels totaling 111.10 acres would increase the total number of acres in the Yellow Mountain District to 752.77.     

 

The parcels, Tax Map 54, Parcels 41, 43, 43A, and 43D, are located north of Dinwiddle Way. The parcel, Tax Map 71, Parcel 22K, is located north of Dick Woods Road, and the parcel, Tax Map 70, Parcel 15G, is located northeast of Ortman 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 Yellow Mountain Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

Staff Recommendation:

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

 

Attachments:

A.     Yellow Mountain District - Proposed Additions

B.     Yellow Mountain District - History

C.     Yellow Mountain District - Conservation Easements & Zoning

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