Supervisors debate allowing denser housing

Critics fear loss of county’s rural character

By Heather Michon

A lengthy public meeting on a zoning amendment resulted in a deferred decision by the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting on Wednesday night (Aug. 18).

The current zoning ordinance allows a maximum density of 2.9 dwelling units per acre in areas zoned R-4; the amendment would allow a maximum of 5.5 units per acre.

However, very little land in Fluvanna County is zoned R-4, and the only property that would be impacted in the foreseeable future is the Marina Point condominium complex inside Lake Monticello.

Marina Point was built in the 1980s and has its own independent homeowner’s association. Residents have long hoped to expand from its current 15 units, which they cannot do under the existing R-4 rules. The change would allow them to add 10 new units to their five-acre plot.

The Planning Commission approved the amendment at its July 14 meeting.

About a dozen residents spoke during the public hearing on Wednesday night, raising multiple concerns and issues with the amendment.

Several spoke out against the potential loss of the county’s rural character if development continued at the current pace, citing projects like Colonial Circle on Rt. 53, and Village Oaks on Lake Monticello Road, and preliminary plans for the Village Garden development near Nahor Village.

Some, who have relocated to Fluvanna to escape over-development in Northern Virginia, voiced concerns about an influx of newcomers to the county bringing with them increased taxes, increased traffic, and increased crime.

Susan Farris said she had moved down from Loudoun County which she said “used to be as beautiful and bucolic as Fluvanna County is now,” until runaway development took over. “Crime comes in, strip malls on every corner, and it’s very sad and I don’t want to see it happen in this county.”

Susan Morris, who lives on Rt. 53, called the amendment “a Trojan horse” that could extend higher density housing to other community planning areas across the county.

Billie K Snodgrass, past president of Marina Point’s condo association, advocated for the amendment. She explained that the original developers of Marina Point had planned for as many as 45 units when proposed in 1982 but were left no ability to expand when the property was re-zoned as R-4 shortly after the first 15 units were built.

The situation has “put a hardship not only on the builders, it put a hardship on the current and future condo owners,” said Snodgrass, because it left essentially left 15 people responsible for upkeep and insurance of the property, rather than the 30 or 45. All Marina Point residents have signed off on the plan to develop another 10 units.

Those who live closest to Marina Point have argued that the county would be engaging in “spot zoning,” where an amendment or rule change is designed to benefit a particular person or developer.

Deputy County Attorney William Tanner said that because the amendment would have “general application to an existing district, it’s countywide, it is not specifically for the purposes solely of one particular property owner.”

However, while the amendment would be countywide, Tanner did not think that the amendment would lead to untrammeled development. “The parade of horribles that I think people are concerned about is something that the Board controls — because you control whether any property is zoned R-4,” he said.

Douglas Miles of the Planning Department said that the county is going to have to deal with density issues and codify that by ordinance at some point, because Fluvanna County offers few choices for would-be residents beyond traditional single-family dwellings.

That lack of choice impacts other forms of economic growth and development as well. There are people who would like to start businesses in the county, he said, but “they can’t locate their businesses here because they can’t live here.”

“I think it would be a good idea for us to adopt the new Comprehensive Plan before we make this kind of change,” said Supervisor Patricia Eager (Palmyra) after presentations and public comments. Miles said the draft plan was in process, but not yet complete.

There was a general consensus that they’d like to look at the plan to come up with a more complete approach to development within the county and ultimately decided to defer the motion for up to a year to allow the Comprehensive Plan reports to come out.

Supervisors voted 4-1 to defer, with Eager voting no. She explained for the record that “I would have rather denied it, until we’re ready.”


Supervisors voted 4-1 to advertise a public hearing for September 15 to approve a joint entity called the Blue Ridge Cigarette Tax Board.

Members voted back in May 2021 to participate in the regional tax board, which would oversee the collection of taxes from participating counties and localities and distribute each county’s share.

If the agreement passes, the Board will have to vote later this year to amend the county code to include a cigarette tax.

County Administrator Eric Dahl said that, once fully implemented, the county could see an additional $190,000 to $287,000 a year in tax revenues.









Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138