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Supervisors Discuss Changes to Special-Use Permit in Regard to Water Usage

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Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

We now have a better idea of what the public wants to see when it comes to changing zoning restrictions in rural areas of Albemarle County.

People spoke on both sides of the aisle, but, ultimately, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors decided to slow the process down.

The zoning ordinance would change what uses are by-right for commercial and industrial properties within the county. But because this issue is so complicated, supervisors decided to take more time before this moves forward.

As the zoning ordinance stands now, commercial and industrial properties that do not use public water and use more than 400 gallons of water per day need a special-use permit.

The proposed changes would replace that current special-use permit process.

The consumption limit was developed some time ago in response to concerns of withdrawing too much groundwater. Supervisors are trying to change this so that it’s more in line with the current comprehensive plan.

If this is passed, it would affect 80 properties in the county.

"If water consumption is part of the concern, there is an easy solution in changing the ordinance to require and enforce flow restrictor valves,” says Gordon Sutton, who’s against the zoning changes.

“There is no way you are going to go into a business and find out, 'oh yeah you have been using 450 instead of 400,'” says Dana Tarrant, who supports the zoning changes. “The county doesn't have the resources.”

Others argued the changes could negatively impact property values.

All properties that could be affected by these zoning changes have already been identified.

Supervisors say there is no set date for when this decision will be made, but did say they want everyone to have a better understanding of the potential changes so they can vote on this in the future.

Everyone applauded them for slowing the process down, whether they were for or against the measure.

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