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Carroll seeks citizen input

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Citizens can get involved and provide input on the next step in proposed updates to Carroll’s subdivision ordinance.

This will happen at a joint meeting between the county supervisors and the planning commission.

The subdivision ordinance sets out the rules and the regulations for new developments in Carroll, in an effort to promote health and public safety.

So far, County Attorney Jim Cornwell and the planning commission have provided the only input about the document.

Proposed updates to the subdivision ordinance, based on the document and previous discussions by county officials, include:

• deleting the term “recreational subdivisions,” once defined as a place where homes are built that are only occupied seasonally at or near “important natural amenities” like the mountains, lakes or rivers for recreational purposes.

• inserting a definition for a resubdivision as “any division or transfer of land, laid out on a plat previously filed in the Circuit Court of Carroll County, which proposes to change property lines or public rights of way not in strict accordance with the recorded subdivision.”

• clarifying what a boundary adjustment is, compared to a resubdivision of land.

• requiring reserve areas for septic drainage fields that are at least equal to the drainage field involved.

• spelling out steps needed for performance bonds.

• requiring any subdivision with more than 15 units to plan and install a central water system for proposed developments that do not have access to public water.

• requiring that lots in a family subdivision “must be retained by the family member for a minimum period of two years” and not sold to someone else until there is written permission given from the appropriate county official.

The planning commission has reviewed the subdivision ordinance.

A few changes to the draft ordinance were added during the review period, including:

• the addition of language on access to new subdivisions, under the “points of emphasis” section.

“All land to be subdivided and roads to be constructed within a subdivision shall be served by state maintained public roads for access to the subdivision.”

• fees as proposed by the planning commission, such as $25 per parcel for small subdivisions with four or fewer parcels for preliminary and final plats reviewed by the county representative; a fee of $150 for review of subdivision plat of five or more parcels, plus a charge of $25 for each lot therein.

• requiring all lots in subdivisions served by neither public water nor sewer to be at least one acre.

• new language on “clustering” of homes, allowing a county official to “approve a subdivision plan which reduces the minimum lot size ... in order to cluster single family residences in an effort to preserve open space.”

In order to qualify, the subdivision must have all lots and buildings served by public water and sewer, public roads constructed to Virginia Department of Transportation standards, the necessary setbacks, the total amount of land exceeds 100 acres and the open space is preserved by a conservation easement.

• A joint work session with a public hearing to follow with the planning commission and the board of supervisors will be held Aug. 21. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

A copy of the proposed ordinance may be found on Carroll County’s website with the notice of the public hearing. This webpage address is http://gov.carrollcountyva.org/index.php?module=calendar&calendar[view]=event&id=131.