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Land Use designation versus Zoning

 

While Land Use designations are considered with future uses, Zoning designations more specifically define what use is currently allowed on a specific parcel and outline design and development guidelines for those intended uses (such as setbacks, minimum lot sizes, and the like). While your Zoning designation is what you can legally do with your parcel today, the Land Use designation, in conjunction with development guidelines, details how you may be able to use your parcel in the future.

Do you know what your property is designated? If not, visit the County’s current land use map developed during the 2009 Comprehensive Plan. Land Use designation and zoning information can be viewed for a specific property on the JCC Property Information webpage. Hard copies of the 2009 Land Use Designation Map are also available from the Planning Division. If you want to learn more about zoning regulations please go to our Zoning Enforcement page. On the Zoning Enforcement page you will find the Zoning map of the County. Use the tab labeled Subdivision Ordinance/Zoning Ordinance to find more information on zoning designations, to include: general intent, permitted uses, specially permitted uses and much more.

 

Land Use designations

Community Commercial

 

  • 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.
Read More >>

 

Recommended Intensity:

While total building area within any area designated Community Commercial can be greater, generally building massing should discourage single structures larger than 200,000 square feet.

Recommended Floor Area Ration (FAR) range: 0.2-0.4

Lower FARs are acceptable if the site includes open space for future expansion or buffering purposes.

 

Recommended 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.

 

Compatibility:

a) Locate proposed commercial and industrial developments adjacent to compatible uses (public or other similar uses, etc.). Where a commercial or industrial development desires a location near a sensitive area, the site should be designed so that transitional uses such as offices and/or buffers are located between conflicting uses. During such evaluation, emphasis would be placed on the provision of open space; protection of the environment and historical and archaeological resources; preservation of farm and forestal lands, agricultural structures, and rural and scenic vistas; natural features; adjoining land uses; capacities of public facilities and services; the quality and effectiveness of pedestrian circulation systems and facilities; and the ability to meet the public needs of the development.

b) Commercial uses, and particularly Neighborhood Commercial areas, will have a limited impact on adjacent residential areas especially in terms of visible parking areas, lighting, signage, traffic, odor, noise, and hours of operation.

c) Acceptable Neighborhood Commercial uses should be compatible with surrounding or planned residential development in terms of scale, bulk, size, building design, materials, and color, and should provide strong, safe, and convenient pedestrian access to nearby residential neighborhoods and adjacent sites.

d) For Neighborhood and Community Commercial parcels, where existing zoning permits development of a parcel, by right or by Special Use Permit, which 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.

e) For Limited Industry areas, dust, noise, odor, and other adverse environmental effects (but not size) are primary considerations for determining whether land uses are acceptable in these areas.

f) 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.

g) Mitigate objectionable aspects of commercial or industrial uses through an approach including performance standards, buffering, and special setback regulations.

 

Public Services, Utilities and Adequacy of Infrastructure:

a) Permit the location of new uses only where public services, utilities, and facilities are adequate to support such uses. The need for public services (police, fire, education, recreation, etc.) and facilities generated by a development should be met or mitigated by that development. Means to address public service needs include proffers involving cash, construction, project phasing, uses, density, intensity, dedication, facility construction, and cost sharing.

b) Timing and intensity of development is controlled by the maintenance of an acceptable level of service of roads and other public services, the availability and capacity of public utilities, the availability of skilled labor for Industrial uses, growth of County population adequate to provide a market for community-scale business activity, and growth of nearby population to provide adequate market support for limited business activity.

 

Environmental Protection:

a) Protect environmentally sensitive resources including high-ranking Natural Areas and significant natural heritage resources, the Powhatan Creek watershed, historic and archaeological resources, designated CCCs and CCAs, and other sensitive resources by locating conflicting uses away from such resources and utilizing design features, including building and site design, buffers, and screening to adequately protect the resource.

b) Protect land designated as conservation areas on development plans by perpetual conservation easement held jointly by James City County and a qualifying second party or dedicated to a land trust.

 

Transportation:

a) Minimize the impact of development proposals on overall mobility, especially on major roads by limiting access points and providing internal, on-site collector and local roads, side street access, and joint entrances. When developing large master planned communities, provide new public collector and arterial roads that will mitigate traffic impacts on existing public collector and arterial roads. Provide for safe, convenient, and inviting bicycle, pedestrian, and greenway connections to adjacent properties and developments in order to minimize such impacts and to provide adequate access between residential and nonresidential activity centers and among residential neighborhoods. Vehicular connections to adjacent properties and developments should also be provided wherever possible in order to maximize the efficiency of the entire street network. Include bikeways and/or pedestrian facilities within and between major developments and among residential neighborhoods. Integrate sidewalks into the design of streets so that pedestrian movement is safe, comfortable, and convenient. Pedestrian activity should be given an equal priority to motor vehicle activity.

b) Industrial and commercial areas should be planned and located to avoid traffic through residential and agricultural areas except in special circumstances where residential and nonresidential areas are both part of an overall master plan and special measures are taken to ensure that the residential or agricultural uses are adequately protected. Industrial uses to be located on Rural Lands may be permitted more than one-half mile from such transportation facilities where such a location is essential to the use (i.e., resource related such as a borrow pit) and direct access to an adequate public road is provided.

c) Provide for ultimate future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvement needs and new road locations through the reservation of adequate right-of-way and by designing and constructing roads, drainage improvements, and utilities in a manner that accommodates future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements. Require facilities to support bus and transit services in tourist areas, Moderate Density Residential areas, activity/employment centers, and at transit dependent uses.

 

Streetscapes:

Provide landscaped areas and trees along public roads and property lines, and develop sites in a manner that retains or enhances the natural, wooded character of the County.

 

 

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.

Read More >>

 

The Conservation Area land use designation has been a feature of the County’s Land Use Maps since 1975. The map reflects only the Resource Protection Area (RPA) defined by the January 1, 2004 RPA rule of the Chesapeake Bay Act and does not reflect all conservation areas. Reasons for not mapping all types of conservation areas range from lack of detailed information (some wetlands need additional determinations), difficulty in mapping on a large scale (steep slopes), and the need to protect the location of sensitive resources (critical habitats). Therefore, staff has consistently relied upon the official Land Use Map in determining and analyzing properties’ general land use designations and has used other policies (Natural Areas Policy) and ordinances (Chesapeake Bay Act) to protect site-specific resources.

 

Unlike many other land use designations, the Conservation Area designation does not easily translate into a corresponding zoning district and density. In some respects, the Conservation Area designation functions as an overlay area, relying upon the surrounding land use designations to infer the general land use, density, and zoning district for the entire development, while using the designation itself to guide the development boundaries and master plan, the intensity of development, and the proffer negotiations. Various environmental policies, such as the Natural Areas Policy and the Powhatan Creek Watershed Management Plan, also factor into development review so that when combined with the Chesapeake Bay Act regulations, resource protections can be weighed against the proposed development and density.

 

Comprehensive Plan densities are given in ranges, and prior to 1997 when the Land Use Map was digitized as a GIS layer, it was difficult to calculate the acreage per land use designation on a given property. Most times, not even all of the areas that qualify as Conservation Area are known and identified at the rezoning stage. Therefore, gross densities have been the standard for establishing the upper limits of the density for the site and continue to be the standard used.

 

 

 

Economic Opportunity

Lands designated as Economic Opportunity are intended primarily for economic development, increased non-residential tax base, and the creation of jobs. The lands should be at strategic locations in the County relative to transportation, utilities infrastructure, and adjacent uses, and the lands should only be developed consistent with comprehensive area/ corridor master plans.

Read More >>

The principal uses and development form should maximize the economic development potential of the area and encourage development types that have certain attributes, principally that they have a positive fiscal contribution, provide quality jobs, enhance community values, are environmentally friendly, and support local economic stability. Master planning is at the core of this designation, and no development should occur unless incorporated into area/corridor master planning efforts which should address environmentally sensitive areas, available infrastructure (roads, water, sewer, transit, etc.), community character and context, public facilities, and adjacent land uses to include lands in adjacent jurisdictions. The intent of this designation is to include parcels with this designation in the PSA (where not already included) pending the outcome of the master planning efforts.

The master planning efforts may take the form of public-private or private-private partnerships; if public-private, the landowner(s) would need to make the majority of the investment. These area/corridor master planning efforts should phase development to be in step with, and provide for, adequate amounts or capacities of roads, water, sewer, transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, fire stations, police and general government services, parks and recreation facilities, schools, and other facilities and service needs generated by the development. The master plan for the area should also demonstrate appropriate variation in uses, densities/intensities, pattern, and design such that new development is compatible with the existing character of surrounding areas. If an individual landowner in lands designated Economic Opportunity does not wish to participate in the master planning effort, such land shall be recognized and adequate buffers provided in the master plan to protect the current use of that land.

Development should be designed to encourage trips by alternative transportation modes and should be concentrated on portions of the site to avoid sensitive environmental features and respect viewsheds from historic and Community Character areas and corridors.

Economic Opportunity – Mooretown Road/ Hill Pleasant Farm Area

For the Mooretown Road/Hill Pleasant Farm Area, the primary suggested uses include industrial, light industrial, and office uses. Primary uses shall follow the recommendations for the general Economic Opportunity designation as described above. Development should refer to the commercial/industrial and residential development standards. Retail commercial uses should be limited in amount and type to support the primary uses. Mixed-cost housing, with a strong emphasis on affordable/workforce needs, may be permitted on up to 15% of developable land area. Housing shall only occur with (a) an area/ corridor master plan to balance regional residential distribution, and (b) assurance that the residential units must be built concurrently or after the office/ industrial component. High density residential may be permitted as a secondary use only with commitments to improved transit system infrastructure and programs (light rail, commuter rail, expanded bus transit, etc.); should transit not occur, high density residential uses are strongly discouraged. In addition, any residential density should be highest closest to transit access points, and should decrease as distance increases from those points. A portion of this area is included within the Norge CCA. Additional information can be found in the Norge description in the Community Character section.

 

 

State, Federal and County Land

Publicly owned lands included in this category are Eastern State Hospital, military installations, County offices and facilities, and larger utility sites such as the Hampton Roads Sanitation District treatment plant. Development in these areas should follow applicable development standards listed in the charts.

Read More >>

 

Eastern State Hospital

Following is language specific to Eastern State Hospital: Owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Eastern State Hospital occupies 540 acres of land bordered by Route 199 to its west, Longhill Connector along its north and east sides, and New Town to its south. If this site were to no longer be used as a public medical facility, its primary uses, intensity, and Comprehensive Plan designation would need to be carefully considered and determined after the State has identified what land is to be considered surplus and by taking into consideration the Crossroads study that was done for the area.

 

Historic and Archaeological Sites

Places of special historical or archaeological significance should be preserved during the development of a particular site. Sites listed on either the National Register of Historic Places or the Virginia Landmarks Register are discussed in the Community Character section. Suggested activities for historic sites are preservation, renovation for original uses, adaptive re-use, or other uses which maintain the integrity of the site and surrounding area.

 

Depending upon certain environmental conditions, highly-sensitive archaeological sites may occur within 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) of the James and Chickahominy rivers and within 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) of the York River. Ultrasensitive zones may occur where these high-sensitivity areas fall within the PSA.

 

James City County Enterprise Zone

The purpose of the Enterprise Zone is to create an improved climate for private sector investment, development, and expansion, thereby improving the overall physical and social conditions within the zone. Qualifying businesses locating within the Enterprise Zone are eligible for certain State and local incentives. Additional information on the Enterprise Zone may be obtained from the James City County Office of Economic Development.

 

Unlike many other land use designations, the Conservation Area designation does not easily translate into a corresponding zoning district and density. In some respects, the Conservation Area designation functions as an overlay area, relying upon the surrounding land use designations to infer the general land use, density, and zoning district for the entire development, while using the designation itself to guide the development boundaries and master plan, the intensity of development, and the proffer negotiations. Various environmental policies, such as the Natural Areas Policy and the Powhatan Creek Watershed Management Plan, also factor into development review so that when combined with the Chesapeake Bay Act regulations, resource protections can be weighed against the proposed development and density.

 

Comprehensive Plan densities are given in ranges, and prior to 1997 when the Land Use Map was digitized as a GIS layer, it was difficult to calculate the acreage per land use designation on a given property. Most times, not even all of the areas that qualify as Conservation Area are known and identified at the rezoning stage. Therefore, gross densities have been the standard for establishing the upper limits of the density for the site and continue to be the standard used.

 

 

 

General Industry

  • Areas located within the PSA that are suitable for industrial uses which, because of their potential for creating dust, noise, odor, and other adverse environmental effects, require buffering from adjoining uses, particularly residential uses.
  • General Industry uses usually require access to interstate and arterial highways, public water and sewer, adequate supply of electric power and other energy sources, access to a sufficient labor supply, and moderate to large sized sites with natural features such as soils, topography, and buffering suitable for intense development.

 

Read More >>

 

Recommended Intensity:

Recommended FAR range: 0.2-No limit Lower Floor Area Ratios (FAR) are acceptable if the site includes open space for future expansion or buffering purposes.

Primary uses include uses that maximize the industrial opportunities of an area. Typical uses can be found in the M-2, General Industrial, section of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

Recommended Uses:

Secondary uses in General Industry areas may include office uses and a limited amount of commercial development generally intended to support the needs of employees and other persons associated with an industrial development.

 

Compatibility:

a) Locate proposed commercial and industrial developments adjacent to compatible uses (public or other similar uses, etc.). Where a commercial or industrial development desires a location near a sensitive area, the site should be designed so that transitional uses such as offices and/or buffers are located between conflicting uses. During such evaluation, emphasis would be placed on the provision of open space; protection of the environment and historical and archaeological resources; preservation of farm and forestal lands, agricultural structures, and rural and scenic vistas; natural features; adjoining land uses; capacities of public facilities and services; the quality and effectiveness of pedestrian circulation systems and facilities; and the ability to meet the public needs of the development.

b) Commercial uses, and particularly Neighborhood Commercial areas, will have a limited impact on adjacent residential areas especially in terms of visible parking areas, lighting, signage, traffic, odor, noise, and hours of operation.

c) Acceptable Neighborhood Commercial uses should be compatible with surrounding or planned residential development in terms of scale, bulk, size, building design, materials, and color, and should provide strong, safe, and convenient pedestrian access to nearby residential neighborhoods and adjacent sites.

d) For Neighborhood and Community Commercial parcels, where existing zoning permits development of a parcel, by right or by Special Use Permit, which 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.

e) For Limited Industry areas, dust, noise, odor, and other adverse environmental effects (but not size) are primary considerations for determining whether land uses are acceptable in these areas.

f) 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.

g) Mitigate objectionable aspects of commercial or industrial uses through an approach including performance standards, buffering, and special setback regulations.

 

Public Services, Utilities and Adequacy of Infrastructure:

a) Permit the location of new uses only where public services, utilities, and facilities are adequate to support such uses. The need for public services (police, fire, education, recreation, etc.) and facilities generated by a development should be met or mitigated by that development. Means to address public service needs include proffers involving cash, construction, project phasing, uses, density, intensity, dedication, facility construction, and cost sharing.

b) Timing and intensity of development is controlled by the maintenance of an acceptable level of service of roads and other public services, the availability and capacity of public utilities, the availability of skilled labor for Industrial uses, growth of County population adequate to provide a market for community-scale business activity, and growth of nearby population to provide adequate market support for limited business activity.

 

Environmental Protection:

a) Protect environmentally sensitive resources including high-ranking Natural Areas and significant natural heritage resources, the Powhatan Creek watershed, historic and archaeological resources, designated CCCs and CCAs, and other sensitive resources by locating conflicting uses away from such resources and utilizing design features, including building and site design, buffers, and screening to adequately protect the resource.

b) Protect land designated as conservation areas on development plans by perpetual conservation easement held jointly by James City County and a qualifying second party or dedicated to a land trust.

 

Transportation:

a) Minimize the impact of development proposals on overall mobility, especially on major roads by limiting access points and providing internal, on-site collector and local roads, side street access, and joint entrances. When developing large master planned communities, provide new public collector and arterial roads that will mitigate traffic impacts on existing public collector and arterial roads. Provide for safe, convenient, and inviting bicycle, pedestrian, and greenway connections to adjacent properties and developments in order to minimize such impacts and to provide adequate access between residential and nonresidential activity centers and among residential neighborhoods. Vehicular connections to adjacent properties and developments should also be provided wherever possible in order to maximize the efficiency of the entire street network. Include bikeways and/or pedestrian facilities within and between major developments and among residential neighborhoods. Integrate sidewalks into the design of streets so that pedestrian movement is safe, comfortable, and convenient. Pedestrian activity should be given an equal priority to motor vehicle activity.

b) Industrial and commercial areas should be planned and located to avoid traffic through residential and agricultural areas except in special circumstances where residential and nonresidential areas are both part of an overall master plan and special measures are taken to ensure that the residential or agricultural uses are adequately protected. Industrial uses to be located on Rural Lands may be permitted more than one-half mile from such transportation facilities where such a location is essential to the use (i.e., resource related such as a borrow pit) and direct access to an adequate public road is provided.

c) Provide for ultimate future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvement needs and new road locations through the reservation of adequate right-of-way and by designing and constructing roads, drainage improvements, and utilities in a manner that accommodates future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements. Require facilities to support bus and transit services in tourist areas, Moderate Density Residential areas, activity/employment centers, and at transit dependent uses.

 

Streetscapes:

Provide landscaped areas and trees along public roads and property lines, and develop sites in a manner that retains or enhances the natural, wooded character of the County.

 

 

 

Limited Industry

  • Designated sites within the PSA for warehousing, office, service industries, light manufacturing plants, and public facilities that have moderate impacts on the surrounding area.
  • Limited Industry ordinarily requires access to arterial roads or major collector streets, public water and sewer, nearby police and fire protection, small to moderate sized sites, environmental features such as soils and topography suitable for intense development, and adequate buffers for nearby residential development.

 

Read More >>

 

Recommended Intensity:

Recommended Floor Area Ration (FAR) range: 0.2-No limit Lower FARs are acceptable if the site includes open space for future expansion or buffering purposes.

 

Recommended Uses:

See basic description for primary uses. Secondary uses in Limited Industry areas may include office uses and a limited amount of commercial development generally intended to support the needs of employees and other persons associated with an industrial development.

 

Compatibility:

a) Locate proposed commercial and industrial developments adjacent to compatible uses (public or other similar uses, etc.). Where a commercial or industrial development desires a location near a sensitive area, the site should be designed so that transitional uses such as offices and/or buffers are located between conflicting uses. During such evaluation, emphasis would be placed on the provision of open space; protection of the environment and historical and archaeological resources; preservation of farm and forestal lands, agricultural structures, and rural and scenic vistas; natural features; adjoining land uses; capacities of public facilities and services; the quality and effectiveness of pedestrian circulation systems and facilities; and the ability to meet the public needs of the development.

b) Commercial uses, and particularly Neighborhood Commercial areas, will have a limited impact on adjacent residential areas especially in terms of visible parking areas, lighting, signage, traffic, odor, noise, and hours of operation.

c) Acceptable Neighborhood Commercial uses should be compatible with surrounding or planned residential development in terms of scale, bulk, size, building design, materials, and color, and should provide strong, safe, and convenient pedestrian access to nearby residential neighborhoods and adjacent sites.

d) For Neighborhood and Community Commercial parcels, where existing zoning permits development of a parcel, by right or by Special Use Permit, which 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.

e) For Limited Industry areas, dust, noise, odor, and other adverse environmental effects (but not size) are primary considerations for determining whether land uses are acceptable in these areas.

f) 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.

g) Mitigate objectionable aspects of commercial or industrial uses through an approach including performance standards, buffering, and special setback regulations.

 

Public Services, Utilities and Adequacy of Infrastructure:

a) Permit the location of new uses only where public services, utilities, and facilities are adequate to support such uses. The need for public services (police, fire, education, recreation, etc.) and facilities generated by a development should be met or mitigated by that development. Means to address public service needs include proffers involving cash, construction, project phasing, uses, density, intensity, dedication, facility construction, and cost sharing.

b) Timing and intensity of development is controlled by the maintenance of an acceptable level of service of roads and other public services, the availability and capacity of public utilities, the availability of skilled labor for Industrial uses, growth of County population adequate to provide a market for community-scale business activity, and growth of nearby population to provide adequate market support for limited business activity.

 

Environmental Protection:

a) Protect environmentally sensitive resources including high-ranking Natural Areas and significant natural heritage resources, the Powhatan Creek watershed, historic and archaeological resources, designated CCCs and CCAs, and other sensitive resources by locating conflicting uses away from such resources and utilizing design features, including building and site design, buffers, and screening to adequately protect the resource.

b) Protect land designated as conservation areas on development plans by perpetual conservation easement held jointly by James City County and a qualifying second party or dedicated to a land trust.

 

Transportation:

a) Minimize the impact of development proposals on overall mobility, especially on major roads by limiting access points and providing internal, on-site collector and local roads, side street access, and joint entrances. When developing large master planned communities, provide new public collector and arterial roads that will mitigate traffic impacts on existing public collector and arterial roads. Provide for safe, convenient, and inviting bicycle, pedestrian, and greenway connections to adjacent properties and developments in order to minimize such impacts and to provide adequate access between residential and nonresidential activity centers and among residential neighborhoods. Vehicular connections to adjacent properties and developments should also be provided wherever possible in order to maximize the efficiency of the entire street network. Include bikeways and/or pedestrian facilities within and between major developments and among residential neighborhoods. Integrate sidewalks into the design of streets so that pedestrian movement is safe, comfortable, and convenient. Pedestrian activity should be given an equal priority to motor vehicle activity.

b) Industrial and commercial areas should be planned and located to avoid traffic through residential and agricultural areas except in special circumstances where residential and nonresidential areas are both part of an overall master plan and special measures are taken to ensure that the residential or agricultural uses are adequately protected. Industrial uses to be located on Rural Lands may be permitted more than one-half mile from such transportation facilities where such a location is essential to the use (i.e., resource related such as a borrow pit) and direct access to an adequate public road is provided.

c) Provide for ultimate future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvement needs and new road locations through the reservation of adequate right-of-way and by designing and constructing roads, drainage improvements, and utilities in a manner that accommodates future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements. Require facilities to support bus and transit services in tourist areas, Moderate Density Residential areas, activity/employment centers, and at transit dependent uses.

 

Streetscapes:

Provide landscaped areas and trees along public roads and property lines, and develop sites in a manner that retains or enhances the natural, wooded character of the County.

 

 

 

Low-Density Residential

  • Located in the PSA where public services and utilities exist or are expected to be expanded to serve the sites over the next 20 years.
  • Have natural characteristics such as terrain and soils suitable for residential development.

 

Read More >>

 

Recommended Density

  • Gross density 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 dwelling units proposed, and the degree to which the development is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan
  • Gross density from one unit per acre up to four units per acre, if particular public benefits are provided. Examples of such public benefits include mixed-cost housing, affordable and workforce housing, enhanced environmental protection, or development that adheres to the principles of open space design.

 

Recommended Uses

Group 1

Single-family homes, duplexes, accessory units, cluster housing, recreation areas

Group 2 (See standard #4 below)

Schools, churches, very limited commercial, and community-oriented facilities

Group 3 (See standard #5 below, and the CCRC and timeshare policies)

Timeshares, retirement and care facilities and communities

 

Use and Character Compatibility

a) Permit new development only where such developments are compatible with the character of adjoining uses and where the impacts of such new developments can be adequately addressed. Particular attention should be given to addressing such impacts as incompatible development intensity and design, building height and scale, land uses, smoke, noise, dust, odor, vibration, light, and traffic.

b) Locate residential uses immediately adjacent to non-residential uses, major roads, railroads, airports, agricultural and forestal uses, and other conflicting uses only where the conflicts between such uses can be adequately addressed (noise, vibrations, and others). In some cases these conflicts may be addressed by sufficient screening or buffering, or other adequately protective site and building design features.

c) For Moderate Density Residential uses generally, sufficient buffering should be provided so that the higher density development is compatible with nearby development and the natural and wooded character of the County.

d) Uses in Groups 2 and 3 above should only be approved in these designations when the following standards are met:

i. Complement the residential character of the area;

ii. Have traffic, noise, lighting and other impacts similar to surrounding residential uses;

iii. Generally be located on collector or arterial roads at intersections;

iv. Provide adequate screening and buffering to protect the character of nearby residential areas; and

v. Generally intended to support the residential community in which they are located (for Group 2 uses only).

 

Public Services, Utilities and Adequacy of Infrastructure:

a) Timing and density of the development of particular sites will depend upon the availability and adequacy of public services, utilities, and facilities, and the maintenance of an acceptable level of service of roads and other public services.

b) The need for public services (police, fire, education, recreation, etc.) and facilities (schools, fire stations, libraries, etc.) generated by a development should be met or mitigated by that development. Means to address public service needs include proffers involving cash, construction, project phasing, uses, density, intensity, dedication of land, facility construction, and cost sharing.

 

Open Space, Open Space Design:

Use open space design and resource protection measures for new developments by:

a) Basing design on a use of land reflecting topographic and other physical features and natural boundaries of the site rather than imposing a layout intended solely to satisfy minimum ordinance requirements;

b) Maintaining open fields or farm lands;

c) Preserving scenic vistas;

d) Protecting wildlife habitats, high-ranking Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation designated Natural Areas and significant natural heritage resources, and other sensitive areas as open space;

e) Retaining natural vegetative buffers around water bodies or wetlands;

f) Preserving historic and archaeological resources;

g) Ensuring that the common land adjoins protected open space on adjacent parcels;

h) Maintaining existing trees and vegetation and preserving the character of the development's natural setting;

i) Emphasizing the use of natural screening/buffering (using vegetation, topography, etc.) over artificial or planted screening/buffering;

j) Creating usable and functional public gathering places and recreational amenities that become focal points of the development and community (see also #9 below);

k) Designing effective pedestrian circulation to include trail systems (see also #8 and #9 below);

l) Protecting land designated as conservation areas on development plans by perpetual conservation easement held jointly by James City County and a qualifying second party or dedicated to a land trust; and

m) Protecting designated Community Character Corridors (CCCs).

n) Net densities should be significantly higher than gross densities and minimum open space significantly increased when feasible.

 

Enhanced Environmental Protection:

Provide enhanced environmental protection by designing the site in accordance with the open space design standards in #6, plus items such as:

a) Adhering to the County’s adopted watershed master plans, and/or providing for Special Stormwater Criteria (or successor regulations);

b) Preserving soils with the highest potential for infiltration;

c) Following recommendations contained in the Better Site Design principles for James City County (or successor document(s));

d) Adhering to green building guidelines, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), EarthCraft, or successor or equivalent;

e) Providing for water conservation measures and/or the use of grey or reclaimed water for irrigation;

f) Providing for nutrient management plans; and

g) Considering siting for solar orientation.

 

Transportation and Mobility:

Minimize the impact of development proposals on overall mobility and traffic safety, especially on major roads by:

a) Limiting access points and providing internal, on-site collector and local roads, side street access, and joint entrances, and prohibiting direct access to arterial and collector streets from individual single-family detached units and duplex units except in the case of a master planned community;

b) Providing new public collector and arterial roads in master planned communities;

c) Enhancing the efficiency of the entire street network by providing for vehicular connections to adjacent properties and developments;

d) Providing for safe, convenient, and inviting bicycle, pedestrian, and greenway connections to adjacent properties and developments, with a special focus on providing adequate access between residential and nonresidential activity centers and among residential neighborhoods;

e) Encouraging use of “complete streets” which integrate sidewalks and bikeways into the design of streets, and provide adequate associated facilities such as bike racks, such that these activities are given equal priority to motor vehicle activity;

f) Providing for ultimate future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvement needs and new road locations through the reservation of adequate right-of-way, and by designing and constructing roads, drainage improvements, and utilities in a manner that accommodates future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements;

g) Requiring facilities to support bus and transit services in tourist areas, Moderate Density Residential areas, and at transit dependent uses; and

h) Encouraging adequate off-street parking areas for multi-family residential developments that minimize conflicting turning movements with on-site and off-site traffic circulation.

 

Sense of Place and Streetscapes:

Design residential developments in a manner that fosters a sense of place and community and provides for community safety and wellness. Methods to achieve this include:

a) Creating usable and functional public gathering places and recreational amenities that become focal points of the development and community;

b) Using compact design patterns that rely on higher density and strong pedestrian and transit linkages;

c) Blending dwelling units of various types and prices into neighborhoods;

d) Including dwelling units that are accessible to those with disabilities;

e) Integrating public buildings and art into the development;

f) Providing well-defined edges of neighborhoods through natural features and architecture;

g) Using small front setbacks;

h) Designing interconnected streets;

i) Providing sidewalks with pedestrian amenities such as lighting, benches, or water fountains;

j) Designing streetscapes to avoid repetitiveness, such as:

i. Varied building orientation, setback, facade treatment, and lot sizes; and

ii. Provision of open space and landscaping, such as the provision of street trees;

k) Locating garages at the rear or side of dwellings, or as a secondary alternative, set back from the front building façade, in order to de-emphasize the prominence of the garage and associated driveway;

l) Using alleys and accessory buildings;

m) Using on-street parking; and

n) Adhering to the Comprehensive Plan’s standards for Community Character Areas (CCAs).

 

Affordable and Workforce Housing:

a) Affordable and workforce housing should be provided at prices targeting households earning 30% - 120% of area median income.

b) Affordable and workforce housing should be provided in accordance with a policy or ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors, if applicable.

c) Where provided, affordable and workforce housing should be blended with other units of various types and prices throughout a given development.

d) Public benefit in this area is most effectively achieved through provision of units or dedication of land, and while provision of cash proffers may be recognized as a providing some public benefit, it should not be recognized as an equivalent substitute.

 

Underground Utilities:

a) Require underground utilities in new developments, including new line extensions and major improvements to existing lines.

b) Provide screening and buffering of existing above-ground utilities and encourage their placement below ground.

 

 

 

Mixed Use

  • Mixed Use areas are centers within the PSA where higher density development, redevelopment, and/or a broader spectrum of land uses are encouraged. Mixed Use areas located at or near interstate interchanges and the intersections of major thoroughfares are intended to maximize the economic development potential of these areas by providing areas primarily for more intensive commercial, office, and limited industrial purposes.
  • The other Mixed Use areas are intended to provide flexibility in design and land uses in order to protect and enhance the character of the area.
Read More >>

 

Recommended Uses and Intensity:

While there is no preferred mix of uses for every Mixed Use development, each development should have a mix of uses that complements the area, and as written in the specific descriptions below. James City County has examples of Mixed Use areas with minimal residential development (such as McLaw’s Circle), but the mix of office, limited retail, and light industrial development creates an acceptable mixing of uses. Mixed Use developments that include residential components should have commercial or office uses that complement those residences. Residences should be encouraged to patronize those areas, and the entire development should be cohesive to create a greater potential for internal capture of vehicle trips. While mixed use buildings are not essential or desirable for all developments, they should be encouraged for those Mixed Use centers that seek to achieve higher densities and seek to create a more urban environment. The recommended Floor Area Ratio (FAR) range will depend on the context of the specific Mixed Use area, but for all areas it is strongly encouraged that opportunities for on-street parking, shared parking, structured parking and other measures to cohesively plan development be considered that maximize the efficient use of land and achieve FARs close to, or greater than, 0.4.

 

Recommended Density:

Moderate to high density residential uses with a maximum gross density of 18 dwelling units per acre could be encouraged in Mixed Use areas where such development would complement and be harmonious with existing and potential development and offer particular public benefits to the community. In order to encourage higher quality design, a residential development of this gross density is not recommended unless it offers particular public benefits to the community. Examples of such benefits include affordable housing, workforce housing, enhanced environmental protection, a high degree of access to multi-modal/transit transportation, or development that adheres to the principles of open space development design. (See Residential Development Standards for more specific guidance on meeting these criteria.)

 

Mixed Use Development Standards:

a) All developments should refer to the Residential and Commercial/Industrial Development Standards along with the Mixed Use Development Standards.

b) Mixed Use developments should create vibrant urban environments that bring compatible land uses, public amenities, and utilities together at various scales. These developments should create pedestrian-friendly, higher-density development, and a variety of uses that enable people to live, work, play, and shop in one place, which can become a destination.

c) Mixed Use developments require nearby police and fire protection, arterial road access, access to public utilities, large sites, environmental features such as soils and topography suitable for intense development, and proximity or easy access to large population centers. The timing and intensity of commercial development at a particular site 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 the resulting mix of uses in a particular area. Master plans are encouraged to assist in the consideration of Mixed Use development proposals. The consideration of development proposals in Mixed Use areas should focus on the development potential of a given area compared to the area’s infrastructure and the relation of the proposal to the existing and proposed mix of land uses and their development impacts.

d) Mixed Use developments should focus on place-making. Developments should be designed to create a sense of place and should be seen as community destinations. Focal open spaces, community oriented gathering places, unified architectural design, and a mix of uses and design that encourages pedestrian activity are all examples of creating a sense of place.

e) Mixed Use developments should allow for higher development intensities that create more efficient buildings and spaces, which can be less of a burden on the environment, creating a more sustainable community.

f) Mixed Use developments should encourage the proximity of diverse uses to make it possible to reduce vehicle trips and vehicle miles traveled, providing for a greater potential for internal capture than with typical suburban development.

Please refer to this section of the Comprehensive Plan to review more specific information of specific Mixed Use areas within the County.

 

 

 

Moderate-Density Residential

  • Located in the PSA where utilities are available.
  • Optimally located near the intersections of collector or arterial streets.
  • Have natural characteristics such as terrain and soils suitable for compact residential redevelopment.
  • May serve as transitional uses, primarily to general commercial, Neighborhood Commercial, or Mixed Use areas.
Read More >>

 

Recommended Density:

Minimum gross density of four units per acre up to 12 unit per acre, depending on the character and density of surrounding development, physical attributes of the property, buffers, the number of dwelling units proposed, and the degree to which the development is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Development at this density is not recommended unless it offers particular public benefits. Examples of such public benefits include mixed-cost housing, affordable and workforce housing, enhanced environmental protection, or development that adheres to the principles of open space design.

 

Recommended Uses:

Group 1

Townhouses, apartments, attached cluster housing, recreation areas, manufactured home parks and subdivisions in accordance with location standards

Group 2 (see standard #5 below)

Very limited commercial and community-oriented facilities

Group 3 (See standard #5 below, and the CCRC and timeshare policies)

Timeshares, retirement and care facilities and communities

 

Use and Character Compatibility:

a) Permit new development only where such developments are compatible with the character of adjoining uses and where the impacts of such new developments can be adequately addressed. Particular attention should be given to addressing such impacts as incompatible development intensity and design, building height and scale, land uses, smoke, noise, dust, odor, vibration, light, and traffic.

b) Locate residential uses immediately adjacent to non-residential uses, major roads, railroads, airports, agricultural and forestal uses, and other conflicting uses only where the conflicts between such uses can be adequately addressed (noise, vibrations, and others). In some cases these conflicts may be addressed by sufficient screening or buffering, or other adequately protective site and building design features.

c) For Moderate Density Residential uses generally, sufficient buffering should be provided so that the higher density development is compatible with nearby development and the natural and wooded character of the County.

d) Uses in Groups 2 and 3 above should only be approved in these designations when the following standards are met:

i. Complement the residential character of the area;

ii. Have traffic, noise, lighting and other impacts similar to surrounding residential uses;

iii. Generally be located on collector or arterial roads at intersections;

iv. Provide adequate screening and buffering to protect the character of nearby residential areas; and

v. Generally intended to support the residential community in which they are located (for Group 2 uses only).

 

Public Services, Utilities and Adequacy of Infrastructure:

a) Timing and density of the development of particular sites will depend upon the availability and adequacy of public services, utilities, and facilities, and the maintenance of an acceptable level of service of roads and other public services.

b) The need for public services (police, fire, education, recreation, etc.) and facilities (schools, fire stations, libraries, etc.) generated by a development should be met or mitigated by that development. Means to address public service needs include proffers involving cash, construction, project phasing, uses, density, intensity, dedication of land, facility construction, and cost sharing.

 

Open Space, Open Space Design:

Use open space design and resource protection measures for new developments by:

a) Basing design on a use of land reflecting topographic and other physical features and natural boundaries of the site rather than imposing a layout intended solely to satisfy minimum ordinance requirements;

b) Maintaining open fields or farm lands;

c) Preserving scenic vistas;

d) Protecting wildlife habitats, high-ranking Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation designated Natural Areas and significant natural heritage resources, and other sensitive areas as open space;

e) Retaining natural vegetative buffers around water bodies or wetlands;

f) Preserving historic and archaeological resources;

g) Ensuring that the common land adjoins protected open space on adjacent parcels;

h) Maintaining existing trees and vegetation and preserving the character of the development’s natural setting;

i) Emphasizing the use of natural screening/buffering (using vegetation, topography, etc.) over artificial or planted screening/buffering;

j) Creating usable and functional public gathering places and recreational amenities that become focal points of the development and community (see also #9 below);

k) Designing effective pedestrian circulation to include trail systems (see also #8 and #9 below);

l) Protecting land designated as conservation areas on development plans by perpetual conservation easement held jointly by James City County and a qualifying second party or dedicated to a land trust; and

m) Protecting designated Community Character Corridors (CCCs).

n) Net densities should be significantly higher than gross densities and minimum open space significantly increased when feasible.

 

Enhanced Environmental Protection:

Provide enhanced environmental protection by designing the site in accordance with the open space design standards in #6, plus items such as:

a) Adhering to the County’s adopted watershed master plans, and/or providing for Special Stormwater Criteria (or successor regulations);

b) Preserving soils with the highest potential for infiltration;

c) Following recommendations contained in the Better Site Design principles for James City County (or successor document(s));

d) Adhering to green building guidelines, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), EarthCraft, or successor or equivalent;

e) Providing for water conservation measures and/or the use of grey or reclaimed water for irrigation;

f) Providing for nutrient management plans; and

g) Considering siting for solar orientation.

 

Transportation and Mobility:

Minimize the impact of development proposals on overall mobility and traffic safety, especially on major roads by:

a) Limiting access points and providing internal, on-site collector and local roads, side street access, and joint entrances, and prohibiting direct access to arterial and collector streets from individual single-family detached units and duplex units except in the case of a master planned community;

b) Providing new public collector and arterial roads in master planned communities;

c) Enhancing the efficiency of the entire street network by providing for vehicular connections to adjacent properties and developments;

d) Providing for safe, convenient, and inviting bicycle, pedestrian, and greenway connections to adjacent properties and developments, with a special focus on providing adequate access between residential and nonresidential activity centers and among residential neighborhoods;

e) Encouraging use of "complete streets" which integrate sidewalks and bikeways into the design of streets, and provide adequate associated facilities such as bike racks, such that these activities are given equal priority to motor vehicle activity;

f) Providing for ultimate future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvement needs and new road locations through the reservation of adequate right-of-way, and by designing and constructing roads, drainage improvements, and utilities in a manner that accommodates future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements;

g) Requiring facilities to support bus and transit services in tourist areas, Moderate Density Residential areas, and at transit dependent uses; and

h) Encouraging adequate off-street parking areas for multi-family residential developments that minimize conflicting turning movements with on-site and off-site traffic circulation.

 

Sense of Place and Streetscapes:

Design residential developments in a manner that fosters a sense of place and community and provides for community safety and wellness. Methods to achieve this include:

a) Creating usable and functional public gathering places and recreational amenities that become focal points of the development and community;

b) Using compact design patterns that rely on higher density and strong pedestrian and transit linkages;

c) Blending dwelling units of various types and prices into neighborhoods;

d) Including dwelling units that are accessible to those with disabilities;

e) Integrating public buildings and art into the development;

f) Providing well-defined edges of neighborhoods through natural features and architecture;

g) Using small front setbacks;

h) Designing interconnected streets;

i) Providing sidewalks with pedestrian amenities such as lighting, benches, or water fountains;

j) Designing streetscapes to avoid repetitiveness, such as:

i. Varied building orientation, setback, facade treatment, and lot sizes; and

ii. Provision of open space and landscaping, such as the provision of street trees;

k) Locating garages at the rear or side of dwellings, or as a secondary alternative, set back from the front building façade, in order to de-emphasize the prominence of the garage and associated driveway;

l) Using alleys and accessory buildings;

m) Using on-street parking; and

n) Adhering to the Comprehensive Plan’s standards for Community Character Areas (CCAs).

 

Affordable and Workforce Housing:

a) Affordable and workforce housing should be provided at prices targeting households earning 30% - 120% of area median income.

b) Affordable and workforce housing should be provided in accordance with a policy or ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors, if applicable.

c) Where provided, affordable and workforce housing should be blended with other units of various types and prices throughout a given development.

d) Public benefit in this area is most effectively achieved through provision of units or dedication of land, and while provision of cash proffers may be recognized as a providing some public benefit, it should not be recognized as an equivalent substitute.

 

Underground Utilities:

a) Require underground utilities in new developments, including new line extensions and major improvements to existing lines.

b) Provide screening and buffering of existing above-ground utilities and encourage their placement below ground.

 

 

 

Neighborhood Commercial

  • Located in the PSA, serving residents of the surrounding neighborhoods in the immediate area and having only a limited impact on nearby development.
  • Location criteria for commercial uses are small sites; access to collector or arterial streets, preferably at intersections with local or other collector arterial 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.
Read More >>

 

Recommended Intensity:

The total building area within any area designated Neighborhood Commercial should generally be no more than 40,000 square feet in order to retain a small-scale neighborhood character.

Recommended Floor Area Ratio range: No minimum-0.2

 

Recommended Uses:

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.

 

Compatibility:

a) Locate proposed commercial and industrial developments adjacent to compatible uses (public or other similar uses, etc.). Where a commercial or industrial development desires a location near a sensitive area, the site should be designed so that transitional uses such as offices and/or buffers are located between conflicting uses. During such evaluation, emphasis would be placed on the provision of open space; protection of the environment and historical and archaeological resources; preservation of farm and forestal lands, agricultural structures, and rural and scenic vistas; natural features; adjoining land uses; capacities of public facilities and services; the quality and effectiveness of pedestrian circulation systems and facilities; and the ability to meet the public needs of the development.

b) Commercial uses, and particularly Neighborhood Commercial areas, will have a limited impact on adjacent residential areas especially in terms of visible parking areas, lighting, signage, traffic, odor, noise, and hours of operation.

c) Acceptable Neighborhood Commercial uses should be compatible with surrounding or planned residential development in terms of scale, bulk, size, building design, materials, and color, and should provide strong, safe, and convenient pedestrian access to nearby residential neighborhoods and adjacent sites.

d) For Neighborhood and Community Commercial parcels, where existing zoning permits development of a parcel, by right or by Special Use Permit, which 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.

e) For Limited Industry areas, dust, noise, odor, and other adverse environmental effects (but not size) are primary considerations for determining whether land uses are acceptable in these areas.

f) 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.

g) Mitigate objectionable aspects of commercial or industrial uses through an approach including performance standards, buffering, and special setback regulations.

 

Public Services, Utilities and Adequacy of Infrastructure:

a) Permit the location of new uses only where public services, utilities, and facilities are adequate to support such uses. The need for public services (police, fire, education, recreation, etc.) and facilities generated by a development should be met or mitigated by that development. Means to address public service needs include proffers involving cash, construction, project phasing, uses, density, intensity, dedication, facility construction, and cost sharing.

b) Timing and intensity of development is controlled by the maintenance of an acceptable level of service of roads and other public services, the availability and capacity of public utilities, the availability of skilled labor for Industrial uses, growth of County population adequate to provide a market for community-scale business activity, and growth of nearby population to provide adequate market support for limited business activity.

 

Environmental Protection:

a) Protect environmentally sensitive resources including high-ranking Natural Areas and significant natural heritage resources, the Powhatan Creek watershed, historic and archaeological resources, designated CCCs and CCAs, and other sensitive resources by locating conflicting uses away from such resources and utilizing design features, including building and site design, buffers, and screening to adequately protect the resource.

b) Protect land designated as conservation areas on development plans by perpetual conservation easement held jointly by James City County and a qualifying second party or dedicated to a land trust.

 

Transportation:

a) Minimize the impact of development proposals on overall mobility, especially on major roads by limiting access points and providing internal, on-site collector and local roads, side street access, and joint entrances. When developing large master planned communities, provide new public collector and arterial roads that will mitigate traffic impacts on existing public collector and arterial roads. Provide for safe, convenient, and inviting bicycle, pedestrian, and greenway connections to adjacent properties and developments in order to minimize such impacts and to provide adequate access between residential and nonresidential activity centers and among residential neighborhoods. Vehicular connections to adjacent properties and developments should also be provided wherever possible in order to maximize the efficiency of the entire street network. Include bikeways and/or pedestrian facilities within and between major developments and among residential neighborhoods. Integrate sidewalks into the design of streets so that pedestrian movement is safe, comfortable, and convenient. Pedestrian activity should be given an equal priority to motor vehicle activity.

b) Industrial and commercial areas should be planned and located to avoid traffic through residential and agricultural areas except in special circumstances where residential and nonresidential areas are both part of an overall master plan and special measures are taken to ensure that the residential or agricultural uses are adequately protected. Industrial uses to be located on Rural Lands may be permitted more than one-half mile from such transportation facilities where such a location is essential to the use (i.e., resource related such as a borrow pit) and direct access to an adequate public road is provided.

c) Provide for ultimate future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvement needs and new road locations through the reservation of adequate right-of-way and by designing and constructing roads, drainage improvements, and utilities in a manner that accommodates future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements. Require facilities to support bus and transit services in tourist areas, Moderate Density Residential areas, activity/employment centers, and at transit dependent uses.

 

Streetscapes:

Provide landscaped areas and trees along public roads and property lines, and develop sites in a manner that retains or enhances the natural, wooded character of the County.

The following are the specific recommendations for two of the County’s Neighborhood Commercial areas:

 

Jamestown/Sandy Bay Road Area:

Several parcels located at or near the intersection of Jamestown Road and Sandy Bay Road were re-designated from Low Density Residential to Neighborhood Commercial during the 1997 Comprehensive Plan update. This land use designation sought to recognize existing uses, zoning, and the future development of adjacent parcels while limiting negative impacts on the traffic carrying capacity of Jamestown Road. Additional commercial development beyond the boundaries of the proposed Neighborhood Commercial designation would further impede traffic flow along this road.

The principal suggested uses for the Jamestown Road Neighborhood Commercial area are very limited commercial uses. Future development is to be of a type and nature that is consistent with the Neighborhood Commercial designation. In addition, future development will consist only of low traffic generating uses due to the limited road capacity on Jamestown Road; the extent of parking will be minimal; uses will provide service to local, nearby neighborhoods, as opposed to the wider community; the site will develop as a pedestrian-oriented environment with a design compatible with nearby residential areas; a master development plan for the full area is encouraged; and driveways will be limited. There is to be full adherence to the County’s Community Character Corridor policy and Land Use Development Standards along the entire frontage of all properties along Jamestown Road.

 

Prime Outlets Area:

The area in and around the Prime Outlets Mall was re-designated from Low Density Residential to Community Commercial during the 1997 Comprehensive Plan update. These parcels are currently zoned B-1 and include Prime Outlets Mall, Comfort Inn, Ewell Station Shopping Center, and the former Jehovah’s Witness Church. The surrounding property is primarily zoned R-2 with some M-1 across Richmond Road (Route 60 West) and some B-1 to the south.

Re-designation of this area is in recognition of deliberate decisions of the Board of Supervisors to zone the area as commercial and of subsequent commercial development of the property. This area is specifically defined as Prime Outlets and the church property to the north, Richmond Road (Route 60 West) to the east, Olde Towne Road to the south, and Prime Outlets to the west. The Community Commercial designation of this area is not intended in any way to promote or accommodate an extension of a strip commercial development beyond these boundaries.

 

 

 

Park, Public, or Semi-Public Open Space

Large, undeveloped areas owned by institutions or the public and used for recreation or open space are included in this category. These areas serve as buffers to historic sites and sensitive areas such as reservoirs, educational resources, and areas for public recreation and enjoyment.

Primary Service Area (PSA)

The PSA defines areas presently provided with public water, sewer and high levels of other public services, as well as areas expected to receive such services over the next 20 years. Most residential, commercial, and industrial development will occur within the PSA. Development outside of the PSA is strongly discouraged. Public utility sites, easements, and facilities are not shown on the Land Use Map; however, it is the intent of the Comprehensive Plan that any development of these sites, easements, and facilities, inside or outside the PSA, be subject to individualized review under §15.2-2232 of the Code of Virginia.

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Promoting efficiency in the delivery of public facilities and services through land use planning and timing development is an important concept. The PSA concept encourages efficient use of public facilities and services, avoids overburdening such facilities and services, helps ensure facilities and services are available where and when needed, increases public benefit per dollar spent, promotes public health and safety through improved emergency response time, and minimizes well and septic failures.

 

 

 

Rural Lands

Rural Lands are areas containing farms, forests and scattered houses, exclusively outside of the PSA, where a lower level of public service delivery exists or where utilities and urban services do not exist and are not planned for in the future.

Read More >>

 

Recommended uses:

Appropriate primary uses include agricultural and forestal activities, together with certain recreational public or semipublic and institutional uses that require a spacious site and are compatible with the natural and rural surroundings. Retail and other commercial uses serving Rural Lands are encouraged to be located at planned commercial locations on major thoroughfares inside the PSA. However, a few of the smaller direct agricultural or forestal-support uses (including agri-business and eco-tourism), home-based occupations, or certain uses which require very low intensity settings relative to the site in which it will be located may be considered on the basis of a case-by-case review, provided such uses are compatible with the natural and rural character of the area, in accordance with the Rural Lands Development Standards. These uses should be located in a manner that minimizes effects on agricultural and forestal activities, and located where public services and facilities, especially roads, can adequately accommodate them.

 

Recommended Density

Rural residential uses associated with legitimate agricultural and forestal activities are appropriate when they are at a very low density and pattern, significantly lower than currently permitted. Lower overall gross densities are desirable to achieve a rural character. Soils must be suitable for individual waste disposal systems.

Residential developments not related to agricultural or forestal uses are only appropriate when they meet the Rural Lands Development Standards and minimize adverse impacts on Rural Lands, in particular its rural character and the soils more suited for agriculture.

In terms of the desired scale of Rural Lands development, very low density development, significantly lower than currently permitted, or rural clusters on a small scale which meet the design guidelines of the Rural Lands Development Standards are encouraged, while large concentrations of residential development are strongly discouraged as such subdivisions interrupt rural qualities and significantly increase the demand for urban services and transportation facilities.

 

Use and Character Compatibility

a) Uses in Rural Lands should preserve the natural, wooded, and rural character of the County. Particular attention should be given to the following:

i. Locating structures and uses outside of sensitive areas;

ii. Maintaining existing topography, vegetation, trees, and tree lines to the maximum extent possible, especially along roads and between uses;

iii. Discouraging development on farmland, open fields, and scenic roadside vistas;

iv. Encouraging enhanced landscaping to screen developments located in open fields using a natural appearance or one that resembles traditional hedgerows and windbreaks;

v. Locating new roads so that they follow existing contours and old roadway corridors whenever feasible;

vi. Limiting the height of structures to an elevation below the height of surrounding mature trees;

vii. Minimizing the number of street and driveway intersections along the main road by providing common driveways and interconnection of developments; and

viii. Utilizing lighting only where necessary and in a manner that eliminates glare and brightness.

b) Site non-agricultural/non-forestal uses in areas designated Rural Lands so that they minimize impacts or do not disturb agricultural/forestal uses, open fields, and important agricultural/forestal soils and resources.

c) Encourage the preservation and reuse of existing agricultural structures such as barns, silos, and houses.

 

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