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Planning Division
101-A Mounts Bay Rd.
Williamsburg, VA 23185

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P: 757-253-6685
F: 757-253-6822
HOTLINE: 757-259-4990

 

planning@
jamescitycountyva.gov

 

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8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday-Friday

 


 

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Community Commercial

 

What areas hold this designation and where are they likely to be located?  


General business activities, located within the PSA and usually having a moderate impact on nearby development are designated Community Commercial.  Location criteria for Community Commercial uses are: access to arterial streets, preferably at intersections with collector and arterial streets; moderate to large sized sites; public water and sewer service; environmental features such as soils and topography suitable for compact development; and adequate buffering by physical features or adjacent uses to protect nearby residential development.  


Special considerations


The total building area within any area designated Community Commercial should be no more than 200,000 square feet. Each Community Commercial area should be clearly separated from other Community Commercial areas to retain the small town and rural character of the County, provide a sense of place, and promote transportation mobility. Where existing zoning permits development of a parcel, by right or by Special Use Permit, that would exceed the collective square footage limit for a particular area, measures should be taken, where possible, to ensure that the development proposal is otherwise in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.  Community Commercial areas should develop around an internal road network for direct parcel access rather than relying on adjoining arterial roads for direct access.


Timing and intensity of development


The timing and intensity of commercial development are controlled by the maintenance of an acceptable level of service for roads and other public services, the availability and capacity of public utilities, and growth of County population adequate to provide a market for community-scale business activity.

 

Suggested uses


Community scale commercial, professional, and office uses such as branch banks, churches, convenience stores, day care centers, general retail stores, grocery stores, indoor recreation facilities, medical offices, office parks, public facilities, service establishments, shopping centers, restaurants, and theaters.

 

Low Density Residential


What areas hold this designation and where are they likely to be located?


Low density areas are residential developments or land suitable for such developments with gross densities up to one dwelling unit per acre depending on the character and density of surrounding development, physical attributes of the property, buffers, the number of dwellings in the proposed development, and the degree to which the development is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  Low Density Residential areas are located in the PSA and where natural characteristics such as terrain and soils are suitable for residential development. Low Density Residential areas are located where public services and utilities exist or are expected to be expanded to serve the sites over the next 20 years.

 

Special considerations


In order to encourage higher quality design, a residential development with gross density greater than one unit per acre and up to four units per acre may be considered only if it offers particular public benefits to the community. Examples of such benefits include mixed-cost housing, affordable housing, unusual environmental protection, or development that adheres to the principles of open space development design. Such design may include maintaining open fields, preserving scenic vistas, protecting wildlife habitats, retaining natural vegetative buffers around water bodies or wetlands, preserving historic sites, creating adequate recreational areas, designing effective pedestrian circulation to include trail systems, and ensuring that the common land adjoins protected open space on adjacent parcels. The Zoning Ordinance will specify the benefits which may be the basis for a permit to go beyond 1 unit per acre. Depending on the extent of benefits, developments up to 4 units per acre will be considered for a special use permit.


Timing and intensity of development


Timing and density of the development of particular sites within low-density areas will depend upon the availability of utilities and the maintenance of an acceptable level of service of roads and other public services. The timing and density of development for a Low Density Residential site may also be conditioned on the provision of least cost housing or the provision of open space.


Suggested uses


Examples of acceptable land uses within this designation include single-family homes, duplexes, cluster housing, recreation areas, schools, churches, community-oriented public facilities, and very limited commercial establishments. Nonresidential uses should not alter, but rather, complement the residential character of the Low Density Residential area in which they are located and should have traffic, noise, lighting and other impacts similar to surrounding or planned residential uses. Very limited commercial establishments, schools, churches, and community-oriented facilities should generally be located on collector roads at intersections where adequate buffering and screening can be provided to protect nearby residential uses and the character of the surrounding area.

 

Neighborhood Commercial


What areas hold this designation and where are they likely to be located?


Limited business activity areas located within the PSA, serving residents of the surrounding neighborhoods in the immediate area and having only a limited impact on nearby development, are designated Neighborhood Commercial.  Location criteria for commercial uses are: small sites; access to collector streets, preferably at intersections with local or other collector roads; public water and sewer service; environmental features such as soils and topography suitable for compact development; and adequate buffering by physical features or adjacent uses to protect nearby residential development and preserve the natural and wooded character of the County.


Special considerations


The total building area within any area designated Neighborhood Commercial should be no more than 40,000 square feet. Where an existing zoning designation permits development of a parcel, by right or by special use permit, that would exceed the collective square footage limit for a particular area, measures should be taken, where possible, to ensure that the development proposal is otherwise in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.   Acceptable uses will have a limited impact on adjacent residential areas especially in terms of lighting, signage, traffic, odor, noise, and hours of operation. Acceptable uses should be compatible with surrounding development in terms of scale, building design, materials, and color.


Timing and intensity of development


The timing and intensity of neighborhood commercial development are controlled by the maintenance of an acceptable level of service for roads and other public services, the availability and capacity of public utilities, and growth of nearby population to provide adequate market support for limited business activity.

 

Suggested uses


Suggested uses are neighborhood scale commercial, professional, and office uses such as individual medical offices, branch banks, small service establishments, day care centers, churches, convenience stores with limited hours of operation, small restaurants, and smaller public facilities. Examples of uses which are considered unacceptable include fast-food restaurants, 24-hour convenience stores, and gas stations.

 

Conservation Area


Conservation areas are critical environmental areas where ordinary development practices would likely cause significant environmental damage. Lands surrounding or adjacent to conservation areas can also be sensitive, and development of these lands should consider negative impacts and methods to mitigate or eliminate these impacts. Wetlands, marshes, flood hazard areas, steep slopes, critical plant and wildlife habitats, and stream banks are types of conservation areas. Lands designated for conservation are intended to remain in their natural state. Examples of preferred land uses include hunting and fishing clubs, fish and game preserves, parks, and other open space that complement the natural environment.

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