Boards discuss proposed changes to site plan rules

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Feb 20, 2013 - 01:33 PM

The Mathews County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors held a joint work session Tuesday to go over details of proposed changes to the section dealing with site plans in the zoning ordinance.

Planning and zoning director John Shaw explained that the primary purpose of the proposed changes was to update and simplify the requirements. Language was consolidated to reduce repetition and overlap, and provisions that dealt with requirements of other agencies, such as VDOT, were eliminated.

The only proposal that provoked extensive discussion was one to reduce the size of buildings that are exempt from site development plan requirements under the provision for expanding an existing home occupation, retail business or professional office, and their accessory buildings. Currently, a building with a footprint of 5,000 square feet would be exempt from the requirement, while the proposed change would reduce the size of the footprint to 1,000 square feet, said Shaw.

Supervisors Neena Putt and Charles Ingram objected to the reduction. Putt said she thought 5,000 square feet was fair and that a reduction would place an extra burden on the property owner. Ingram pointed out that the board had reduced the size from 10,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet only a few years ago.

Shaw said that such a large building could trigger issues with parking, stormwater management, wetlands, ingress and egress, and erosion and sediment control. He said there were could also be concerns about the order of magnitude and scale of such a structure.