Planners consider changes to highway overlay district
The Gloucester County Planning Commission spent more than two hours last Thursday night discussing the current Highway Corridor Overlay District.
No votes were taken at the work session, which was held in the Department of Information Technology building on Main Street. The matter will be brought up again at the commission’s March 6 meeting.
The Gloucester Board of Supervisors passed a motion at its Jan. 23 meeting asking the commission to review the HCOD ordinance and to report to the board within 100 days with recommendations for minimizing the scope and impact of the ordinance, perhaps making it less restrictive, said Anne Ducey-Ortiz, director of planning and zoning.
After the commission makes its recommendations to supervisors, the matter will be reviewed by the county board and possibly referred to the commission for a public hearing. The supervisors would then hold its own hearing and act on possibly changing the HCOD.
As now defined, the HCOD applies along the entire length of Route 17 (George Washington Memorial Highway) in Gloucester, Ducey-Ortiz said, as well as in B-4 (Rural Business) zones. Also, the special designation applies to Route 3/14 (John Clayton Memorial Highway), and encompasses 600 feet from the right-of-way along the applicable routes.
Several commissioners said they would like the HCOD to be lifted on Route 3/14 from the end of the Development District, near the 7-Eleven convenience store at Indian Road, all the way out to the Mathews County line. In addition, some members also appeared to support lifting HCOD restrictions north of the Gloucester Court House area, basically from the 7-Eleven store near Riverside Walter Reed Hospital all the way to the county’s northern limits at Glenns.