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Planning Commission hearing next week on horses in subdivision, gravel mining

The King George Planning Commission is scheduled to hold public hearings next week on Tuesday, April 9, to take comments on two topics.

One case is to consider an amendment to the subdivision ordinance to allow horses in some subdivisions.
The second hearing is to take comments on a rezoning request and a special exception to allow sand and gravel mining and processing.

The Planning Commission meets on the second Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Revercomb Administration building, located behind the Courthouse.

HORSES IN SUBDIVISIONS?
The Board of Supervisors voted on Feb. 19 to send a draft ordinance to the Planning Commission to review and then return to Supervisors with a recommendation that would allow horses to be kept in recorded subdivisions as an accessory use under certain conditions.  

This will be the second time that the two boards will be considering changes that would allow horses to be kept by homeowners on 10-acre lots in recorded subdivisions under certain conditions.

The current zoning ordinance does not permit horses on any lot size in a subdivision which contains any lot that is less than 5 acres. The proposal under consideration would apply to major subdivisions with the Rural Agricultural (A-2) and General Agricultural (A-3) zoning districts.

The matter has been under review off and on since 2011 at the request of county resident Amy Reese. Supervisors had previously asked the Planning Commission to study the matter, which took place at monthly meetings over a seven-month period, starting in December 2011.

When it came back to Supervisors in August 2012, the issue had broadened out so much that Supervisors had nixed pursuing it. Now it’s back next week.

The reason for keeping a horse would be for “pleasure” use, or as a pet, as an accessory use to a single-family residential unit and solely for the recreational purposes of the resident(s) living on the premises.  Riding stables and the boarding of horses which are not owned by the resident(s), whether for commercial purposes or not, shall be prohibited.  
 
The minimum parcel size would be 10-acres, with a minimum of two acres of usable pasture area on which the horse would be kept. It’s also proposed that additional horses may be kept at a ratio of one horse for each additional two acres of useable pasture area, up to a maximum of ten horses. Useable acreage would exclude those in Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas.

Other conditions proposed would be that a stable must be provided for housing the horse(s), with set-back minimums of 75-feet from any side and/or rear property line.

All pastures, runs, or similar areas used for horse keeping would need to be surrounded by secure fencing.

SAND & GRAVEL MINING AND PROCESSING
A hearing will be held on a request by Steve DeBernard to rezone Tax Map 37 Parcel 4 from Industrial (I) with proffers to Industrial with proffers (revised). The property contains 25.641 acres along the Rappahannock River. The applicant is also requesting a special exception permit for sand and gravel processing on the parcel.

The staff reports for both cases, along with supporting material can be viewed at the office of Community Development located on the ground floor of the Revercomb administration building, behind the Courthouse on Route 3 (Kings Hwy.)

Phyllis Cook

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