- Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 14:38
- Published on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 14:38
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Westmoreland Zoning Administrator Robert Fink has advised the jurisdiction’s Planning Commission of a change in Virginia law that the county needs to implement by making changes to its own ordinances.
On Oct. 4 Fink distributed a document detailing the new Virginia Code Section 15.2-3309.1, which the General Assembly adopted to address what the legislation describes as Virginia’s “housing crisis.”
Fink told the commissioners local action is needed to extend the life of previously approved special exception permits, site plans and platted subdivisions that would otherwise expire due to a developer’s failure to commence work in a timely manner on a permitted building project.
The measure the General Assembly approved in its 2009 session would extend the life of affected projects to July 1, 2014.
“The [measure] affects permits that have been granted,” Fink said. “It extends the timeline of validity for certain approvals.”
The Zoning Administrator advised that declining economic conditions created “a slowdown in the housing market and [the need] to amend codes to incorporate the [appropriate] language.”
Fink told the commissioners he intends to assemble an informational packet that will detail specific language that will then become the subject of advertised county Planning Commission and Westmoreland Board of Supervisors public hearings. The new language will take the form of ordinance amendments.
The action would extend the life of subdivision plats, special use permits and proffers still valid on Jan.1, 2009.
During the peak years of the building industry, large residential subdivisions were approved in Westmoreland County and in the Town of Colonial Beach. Potomac Crossing, James Monroe Birthplace LLC subdivision and Ellis Denning’s Northern Neck subdivision are a sampling of the major projects whose development has not been realized.
Fink explained that the new language will affect permits the county approved during 2004 and later. He further noted that the life of the permits the legislation impacts is usually five years.