Opponents Campaign Against County Zoning Proposals


March 3, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: Northampton County is proposing a new Zoning Code. The 125 page document, plus maps, contains changes in land use and development, increased residential densities and decreased setbacks, and adds commercial and other uses in residential neighborhoods with no notice or Public Hearing. Opponents to the changes have developed the following paper:

1—If you live in a Town you may never have received a notice of these changes:

  • Town-edge  Districts eliminated  (removed)
  • Agricultural Districts (adjacent)- reduced setbacks for poultry houses-manure storage, industrial uses— rezoning permitted to commercial and multi-family units (p. 10, 11,38)

2—If you live in a Village, Hamlet or Residential District:

  • no notice to next door neighbors about new Commercial/Recreational/Institutional Uses (pp. 14, 16, 22, 28-34)
  • increased density—up to 4 units per acre  (pp. 15, 17, 29)
  • no single-wide homes, even for relative or caretaker use (pp. 15, 17, 19)
  • reduced setbacks for intensive farming structures (poultry), manure storage (p. 11, 43)
  • 199’ towers in residential areas  (p. 14, 16, 28)

3—If you live in a rural subdivision:    * subdivisions may have Covenants and Restrictions in place

  • rezoned to 4 new Residential Districts—lots of 1 to 5 acres—Commercial, Recreational,  Institutional Uses permitted* –no notice to adjacent property owners (pp. 30-34)
  • reduced setbacks for intensive farming structures (poultry), manure storage (p. 11, 43)
  • odor controls on poultry houses eliminated (removed)
  • rezoning permitted for waste sites and commercial development on farmland (no legal noise ordinance)  (p. 10)
  • 199’ towers in residential areas (pp. 30-34)

4—If you live in an Agricultural District:

  • setbacks on adjacent farm fields reduced for intensive farming structures (poultry), manure storage (p. 11, 43)
  • rezoning permitted for waste sites, commercial and dense residential development (p. 38)

5—If you need affordable housing:

  • Affordable Housing Density Bonus eliminated–increased density now by right (pp 15,17 )
  • single-wide homes prohibited in residential neighborhoods (pp. 14-36)
  • Mobile Home Park Overlay District eliminated (removed)
  • no county low cost housing proffer policy in place for rezonings (p. 38)

6—If you’re in the Aquaculture business:

  • Oyster Waterfront Commercial District eliminated (removed)
  • Willis Wharf Waterfront Commercial District :   more than 20 non-water dependent uses added  by-right  (restaurant, inn, vacation rental, etc.)—-no public notice (p. 18)
  • Waterfront Hamlet designation protection for Bayford, Cherrystone Landing and Red Bank eliminated (removed)
  • residential waterfront lot widths reduced to 60’ in some Districts—more septic fields,  impervious surfaces, and boat traffic over shellfish beds (pp. 15, 17)
  • Planned Unit Developments  rezoning could increase waterfront density—developer sets lot sizes, building types (p. 38)
  • reduced setbacks for intensive farming structures (poultry), manure storage on farm fields (p. 11)
  • Bay Act protection on Seaside eliminated  (removed)
  • workforce housing impacted by fewer affordable housing options

7—If you’re concerned about resource protection and preservation:

  • Planned Unit Developments, anywhere land is available, increased residential density and septic fields,  more impervious surface runoff– no PUD Ordinance in place (p. 38)
  • reduced setbacks from shorelines and wetlands for intensive farming [poultry]—(structures, manure storage, non-farm uses) (p. 43)

8—If you value the county’s rural character, landscape, towns and villages:

  • new Industrial, Institutional, Commercial and Recreational uses permitted in AG District, all with reduced setbacks (p. 10) and rezoning permitted to PUDs (p. 38)
  • new Commercial and Recreational uses permitted in residential neighborhoods (pp. 14, 16, 22, 28-34)
  • no noise level limits in the performance standardsAll documents on line at: http://www.co.northampton.va.us/departments/planning.html

Only one Public Hearing has been scheduled — one chance for public comment on these changes:

Northampton County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors Joint Public Hearing

7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at Northampton High School 


Send written comments for the public record to:

Board of Supervisors  Northampton County, PO Box 66, Eastville, VA 23347

   email:  [email protected]  OR  [email protected]



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