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Setback variances could become easier to obtain in Mathews

The Mathews County Planning Commission considered a suggestion last week by planning director John Shaw that the commission look into allowing his office to approve yard setback changes without requiring that the applicant go through the variance process.

According to the minutes of the meeting, Shaw said that the Code of Virginia allows for administrative oversight of setbacks, but that the change would require action by the board of supervisors. He pointed out that both Gloucester and Middlesex counties currently allow for such modification.

A setback modification wouldn’t be granted without notification of adjacent property owners, said Shaw, and the planning and zoning administrator wouldn’t "have a blank check" for approval.

Commission members Mike Lowe and Chuck Dawson both expressed support for such a change.

No action was taken.

The commission also received a list of priorities from Shaw, one of which is the need to determine whether identific...

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