Board Outlines Ordinance Path

County’s Land-Use Regs Getting Revamp

Posted: July 11, 2013

HARRISONBURG — Rockingham County officials hammered out a rough outline Wednesday for how they will proceed to overhaul the county’s land-use regulations.
 
For more than six years, county officials have been working to update the zoning ordinance to make it more user-friendly and bring it in line with state code.
 
The document outlines what uses are allowed on every property in the county and what requirements property owners must satisfy.
 
Over the years, the existing ordinance has been amended and altered, becoming a patchwork of rules and regulations that became increasingly difficult to navigate.
 
The Rockingham County Planning Commission worked with the new ordinance that staff developed for several months, holding eight work sessions to comb through the document.
 
Last week, commissioners voted to forward it to the Board of Supervisors for consideration.
 
At a work session Wednesday, supervisors decided to hold a public hearing on the draft ordinance in the next few months, possibly August or September.
 
County officials will then review input received at the hearing as well as grapple with any as yet unresolved issues that the Planning Commission could not reach consensus on.
 
Commissioners were divided over regulations concerning private roads and signage, among other issues.
 
Other areas of concern the board and staff will look at affect mobile home parks and planned developments.
 
Once staff has had time to review and update the ordinance based on the input, the document will come back to the board, and another public hearing could be held at that time.
 
It’s not clear when that will be, but comments will be accepted any time up until the board finally approves the new ordinance.
 
The draft is available for review in the Department of Community Development at the County Administration Center, 20 E. Gay St., Harrisonburg. It’s also online at www.rockinghamcountyva.gov.
 
Supervisor Bill Kyger said he wants the ordinance to not be too restrictive, specifically with regard to requirements for development.

“I’m leery of too much government involved in the private sector,” he said.
 
Supervisors also said they want to be cautious as they move forward with the new ordinance.
 
“I hope that we’re going to be intelligent enough to allow a period of time, a few months, for staff to analyze any of the input that is given tonight or later on as this thing hits the media and whatever,” said Supervisor Pablo Cuevas.
 
Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or jhunt@dnronline.com



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