The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Orange supervisors, planning commission disagree on subdivision ordinance
BY DAN McFARLAND
Orange County Supervisors and Planning Commission members have agreed to disagree, for now, on the county’s subdivision ordinance.
Over the course of a three-hour meeting Thursday, the two groups made some progress on planned revisions to the county comprehensive plan, but stalled in their discussion of the subdivision ordinance that they have been sparring over for several months.
At issue was how to modify the current restriction on by-right subdivision of land zoned for agriculture, which allows a single division of such land in four years.
At their April 24 meeting, the supervisors instructed the planners to begin the process of repealing Section 54–27 of the rule.
The majority of speakers at the Planning Commission’s June 7 public hearing on the matter spoke against the proposed change, and commission members voted unanimously to recommend that no section of the rules be removed until something appropriate is recommended in its place.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Teel Goodwin expressed his dissatisfaction Thursday with the current ordinance.
“I don’t like what we have,” he said, suggesting a more liberal allowance on land divisions. He characterized restrictions on owners’ use of their land as “not the America I know.”
Several Planning Commission members, including District 3 member Donald Brooks supported that idea. “Let the owners decide,” Brooks said.
District 5 Supervisor Lee Frame disagreed. “That’s not planning,” he responded. “If everything is by right, there is no need for planning.”
After further discussion, Goodwin concluded, “I think we are going to need to agree that we are not ready to settle this question at this point in time. We don’t have common ground yet.”
The supervisors next meet on Tuesday., June 26 The Planning Commission’s next regular meeting is July 5.