Planning commission recommends new zoning ordinance

Published 2:28 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Southampton County Planning Commission has recommended changes to the current zoning ordinance in order to acknowledge the existence of small lots along the Nottoway shore. These subdivisions were plotted prior to the October 1968 adoption of zoning regulations in Southampton County, and property owners have been required to apply for variances from the zoning department every year since.

The proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance are intended to permit further development of the current residential district, as well as protect the property owners in case the subdivision is destroyed by fire or floods.

“The current zoning designation does not recognize the dockside neighborhood,” said Beth Lewis, secretary for the planning commission. “Our recommendation is to recognize lot sizes as small as 50 by 125 feet.”

If approved by the board of supervisors, the regulation will no longer require property owners to apply for variances from the zoning department.

Distance requirements for the properties along the Nottoway shore were also discussed at Thursday’s meeting, including how close the structure can be to the river, and the commission recommended removal of the rear yard setback requirements. Additionally, the amendment will permit small vehicles to be stored on the properties, even without a place of residence, as long as the vehicle is currently licensed.