On March 7th the Planning Board began the final phase of its worksessions on the proposed zoning code: implementation and impacts of the new code. After more than 4 years of blood, sweat, and tears (mostly figuratively speaking), a Revised Preliminary Planning Board Draft has been released. After several final worksessions and concluding public hearing, a Planning Board Draft Zoning Ordinance will be sent to the County Council for introduction in early May.
During the past few years Planning Department Staff has followed an extensive outreach strategy that has included:
- Over 80 public meetings,
- Dozens of Planning Board worksessions,
- Numerous Council presentations,
- Regular email “blasts” to hundreds of parties following the project,
- Press releases for project milestones,
- Almost weekly web site and agenda updates, and
- Direct mailings to over 9,000 property owners of commercial, industrial, and other properties.
This outreach has led to great input and a lot of good ideas have been incorporated into the zoning ordinance. But we would like to get even more input in order to produce the best document we can for the Council’s consideration. Please take the time to look through the draft ordinance, take a look at the material on our website, or give us a call or send us an email with any particular questions. We even have office hours set up for you to come in and discuss what implementation of the new ordinance may mean to you.
To encourage further discussion and to explain a few particularly complicated and misunderstood issues, I will be posting a series of blogs over the next couple months. I will at least cover the topics listed below, but am happy to post on other topics that folks have questions or concerns about.
Zoning Rewrite Blog Topics
- How is the County Currently Zoned?
- Zoning Text and Zoning Map Amendment Public Notice Requirements
- The Difference between Building Types and Uses
- The Difference between Permitted, Limited, and Conditional Uses
- What Changes are Proposed to the Small-Lot Residential Zones?
- Why do the Proposed Zones Have So Many Letters and Numbers?
- Sustainability Initiatives in the Proposed Code
- Agricultural Support in the Proposed Code
We look forward to continued dialog; schedules on worksessions, hearings, and comment periods will be posted as dates are set.