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Pharmacy rezoning approved

The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted to approve two rezoning requests and an ordinance amendment during its meeting held Aug. 13.

Board members voted to approve rezoning Cumberland Pharmacy, located at 1756 and 1758 Anderson Highway. The rezoning would change from Residential-2 (R-2) and Agricultural-2 (A-2) to Business-1 (B-1).

The staff report for the rezoning amendment from the May meeting read that, “the owner is requesting a larger sign be placed on the property. This rezoning would allow for the property to conform with Cumberland County Code as well as allow for a larger sign to be placed there.”

J.P. Duncan

Cumberland Planning & Zoning Director J.P. Duncan said during the Tuesday meeting that rezoning to B-1 would also bring the location into compliance with the county zoning. No members of the public spoke during the public hearing.

District Five Supervisor Parker Wheeler asked if other areas along the stretch of Anderson Highway have similar zoning to the pharmacy’s initial zoning, and if they could be rezoned.

Duncan asked if Wheeler referred to existing businesses or to vacant properties.

Wheeler said both existing businesses and vacant lots.

“You have a potential for business to come in,” Wheeler said. “Something for the planning commission to look at.”

District Three Supervisor Kevin Ingle suggested giving a questionnaire to landowners in the area to see what they would think of business rezoning.

Duncan said he would discuss the idea with the planning commission.

Board members also voted to amend the family subdivision ordinance. No one spoke during the hearing.

In this ordinance, a property owner is more easily able to subdivide a portion of their land to a family member, according to Duncan in a previous Herald report.

“It allows a family to subdivide a piece of property off to … a child, spouse, sibling, grandchild, parent or grandparent, without having to go through the rigor of the subdivision ordinance,” Duncan said.

Duncan said the planning commission decided to reduce the holding periods on both ends. Now, the property owner only needs to own the property for two consecutive years before subdividing it to a family member.

According to the ordinance, the property owner places, in the deed, a restrictive covenant on the subdivided property that would prohibit the transfer of the property to a nonmember of the immediate family for a period of at least 10 years, rather than 15 years.

Duncan, during the Tuesday meeting, suggested adding nieces and nephews to the description of what qualifies as immediate family.

Ingle agreed with the suggestion, saying that it’s common for families to consider nieces and nephews as immediate family, especially if the nieces’ and nephews’ parents are deceased.

Ingle also asked how frequently families could subdivide land for other family members.

Duncan said one parcel could be subdivided per family member, meaning that if a family had three children, they could subdivide three lots after the property owner has owned the land for two years.

“I think that the changes that have been made are very beneficial to keep families closer together,” Ingle said after the vote was taken.

Board Chairman David Meinhard expressed concern about an item in the ordinance concerning 20-foot right of ways, which according to the ordinance is required in order for emergency vehicles or other vehicles to enter and exit the property. Meinhard said for private roads, the property owners couldn’t get maintenance assistance from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

Duncan said the 20-foot right of ways item was already in the existing ordinance. Duncan said he could see the concerns that if roads are considered private, then potentially families may experience frustration if they are unable to receive maintenance assistance. He said the hope is that families would not experience issues maintaining the roadway.

Board members approved the ordinance with the amendments concerning nieces and nephews.

Board members also voted to approve rezoning several parcels in the area of Old Buckingham Road and Brook Hill Road in the Sunny Side Meadows site. The property was zoned Residential-2 (R-2) and property owners have requested to have the parcels rezoned to Agricultural-2 (A-2).

“There are some parcels being used for agricultural purposes, which is in violation with the Cumberland County Code due to livestock restrictions in the R-2 zoning district,” the Cumberland County Planning Commission staff report written by Planning & Zoning Administrator J.P. Duncan cited. “This rezoning would bring these parcels into compliance with Cumberland County Code.”

No one spoke during the public hearing for the rezonings. Board members voted to approve the rezoning request.