Southampton County adjusts zoning ordinance

Published 9:26 am Friday, March 27, 2015

After several months of planning and public hearings, the Southampton County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the revision of the county’s current zoning ordinances on Monday.

This is done in order to acknowledge the existence of small lots in the Nottoway Shores/Battles Beach subdivision near Battle Beach Road (Route 753) and Cypress Lane.

These subdivision were plotted prior to the October 1968 adoption of zoning regulations in Southampton County, requiring landowners to apply for variances from the zoning department at the beginning of every year.

The amendments to the zoning ordinance permits further development of the current residential district, changing the designation from ‘A1-Agricultural’ to ‘Recreational Residential,’ as well as protects the property owners in case the subdivision is destroyed by fire or floods.

Beth Lewis, secretary for the planning commission, noted in November that the Board of Zoning Appeals had given out more than 20 variances to property owners within the district to allow single family homes to be built on the property.

Prior to the amendment and without the variances, the original zoning regulation only allowed landowners to build on 25 feet of land because of the language regarding front and rear yard setbacks.

This modification removes restrictions on the rear yard setback, and property owners with lots as small as 50 by 125 feet no longer need apply for a variance with the zoning department.

Additionally, the amendment will enable small vehicles to be stored on the properties, even without a place of residence, as long as the vehicle is currently licensed.