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Public input session on Urbanna zoning changes

by Tom Chillemi

Proposed updates of the Urbanna Zoning Ordinance would still allow three-story buildings in town, but would not allow certain buildings to be 60 feet tall, as is the current law.

Height was a major objection noted by opponents of a proposed 14-unit condominium planned for the Urbanna Yachting Center on Urbanna Creek. The condo developer has filed a $4 million lawsuit seeking to have the site plan approved. A judge is considering the arguments.

The new draft of the Urbanna Zoning Ordinance sets the maximum building height at three stories and 35 feet, and better defines the criteria.

Section 17-4.6.5 “Height standards” reads as follows: “Structures may be erected up to three stories and thirty-five (35) feet in height as measured from the exiting grade to the peak of the roof at the front entranceway of the structure.”

Currently, the height is established at midway from the eaves to the roof ridge.

The draft ordinance deletes a section of the current ordinance that allows a building to be 60 feet tall if it is a school, church, library or general hospital. Generally speaking, a building “story” is about 10 feet tall.

Another height criteria change in the ordinance is for an accessory structure that is 10 feet or closer to the lot line. It “shall” be one story or 14 feet or less in height.

The draft zoning changes also reduces the number of districts from 5 to 2—Residential and Business, said town administrator Lewis Filling. Parking and sign regulations still need to be addressed, he said.

This is Urbanna’s first major zoning update since 1998.

The “public input” meeting at 7 p.m., November 20, at the town hall is to gather feedback and address concerns of the residents and citizens, said Filling. No vote will be taken.

A formal public hearing will be held after the draft zoning ordinance is further revised.

A complete copy of the proposed zoning ordinance is available to the public at the Urbanna Library and town hall.

posted 11.19.2008

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