Leaders to vote on increased lot sizes

A proposed revision to the county code would increase significantly the minimum lot size allowed in areas of the county zoned for agriculture.

The changes, to be considered by the Louisa County Planning Commission at its Dec. 12 meeting, build on the comprehensive plan changes approved by the board of supervisors earlier this year. Officials included text in the plan stating that the current 1.5-acre lot size minimum is too small to protect rural areas.

If approved by the commission and the board, the minimum would increase to six acres in areas zoned A-1 and four acres in A-2. More of the county’s rural land is in the latter zoning district, because it is less restrictive. The changes would not apply to previously approved or family subdivisions.

The minimum lot size in the two residential zones (R-1 and R-2) would increase from 40,000 square feet to 1.5 acres. Agricultural and residential-zoned land within designated growth areas such as Ferncliff or Shannon Hill would keep the 1.5-acre lot minimum.

Lot sizes are not the only thing the commission wants to change. Land designated in the comprehensive plan for future mixed-use or industrial growth would become subject to an overlay district with new landscaping, lighting and architectural requirements. The types of businesses and other uses allowed in an area zoned a certain way could differ within an overlay district from outside it.

To give the commission and board more control over what gets developed in rural areas, the proposed code change would make conditional some uses that are now allowed by-right. In the agricultural-zoned areas, for instance, churches would be subject to conditional use permits.

The commission held a public hearing on the proposed changes at its Nov. 14 meeting and has met for several work sessions to hash out the details. A vote to make recommendations to the supervisors is possible at the Dec. 12 meeting at 7 p.m. at the Louisa County Office Building.

The changes as of Nov. 14 can be viewed in the commission’s agenda packet for that meeting at louisacountyva.iqm2.com