City of Fredericksburg, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Purpose and applicability. The purpose of this section is to provide uniform procedures for any application which requires a public hearing and recommendation by the Planning Commission, and a public hearing and decision by the City Council, see Table 72-21.7.
B. 
Initiation.
(1) 
Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan may be initiated by:
(a) 
The City Council by resolution; or
(b) 
The Planning Commission by motion.
(2) 
Amendments to the Zoning Map, including rezoning, conditional rezoning, and planned rezoning may be initiated by:
(a) 
The City Council by resolution;
(b) 
The Planning Commission by motion; or
(c) 
An owner or contract purchaser of a property that is the subject of a proposed Zoning Map amendment.
(3) 
Amendments to the UDO text may be initiated by:
(a) 
The City Council by resolution; or
(b) 
The Planning Commission by motion.
(4) 
A special use permit or special exception may be initiated by application of the owner or contract purchaser of the property that is the subject of the proposed special use permit or special exception.
(5) 
Whenever the City Council or the Planning Commission initiate an amendment, either to the official map or the ordinance text, the public purposes for such an amendment shall be clearly stated.
C. 
Concurrent applications. A map amendment application may be accompanied by an application for a special use permit or special exception, and such dual applications may be processed and reviewed concurrently. Any application for a special use permit may be accompanied by an application for a special exception, and such dual applications may be processed and reviewed concurrently.
D. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection D, Public notice, was repealed 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13.
E. 
Planning Commission review and recommendation.
(1) 
The provisions of this subsection shall apply to every application on which the Planning Commission is required to make a study and recommendation.
(2) 
Prior to making any recommendation to the City Council on an application subject to the requirements of Code of Virginia § 15.2-2285, the Planning Commission shall advertise and hold at least one public hearing pursuant to public notice, as required by Code of Virginia § 15.2-2204.
(3) 
The Planning Commission shall consider applicable provisions of the Comprehensive Plan, as well as factors, criteria and standards set forth within Code of Virginia Title 15.2, Chapter 2, and this chapter.
(4) 
The Planning Commission shall review an application and shall report its findings and recommendations to the City Council, along with any appropriate explanatory material.
(a) 
The Commission's findings and recommendations for a proposed UDO text amendment, or a proposed Zoning Map amendment, shall be transmitted to City Council within 100 days after the first Planning Commission meeting after the application is referred to the Commission;
(b) 
Failure of the Commission to report to the City Council within the time frame set forth above shall be deemed a recommendation of approval, unless the application has been withdrawn by the applicant prior to the expiration of the time period.
(5) 
Any recommendation of the Commission shall be deemed advisory and shall not be binding on the City.
F. 
City Council study and action.
[Amended 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
(1) 
Before acting on any application subject to the requirements of Code of Virginia § 15.2-2285, the City Council shall advertise and hold at least one public hearing. The City Council may hold a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission. After holding this hearing and receiving the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the City Council may make appropriate changes or corrections to the proposed amendment. However, no land may be zoned to a more intensive use classification than was contained in the public notice without an additional public hearing after notice as required by Code of Virginia §§ 15.2-2285 and 15.2-2204.
(2) 
The Clerk of Council shall transmit official notice of any City Council action modifying this chapter to the Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator shall thereafter have the responsibility to make any necessary and appropriate changes to the Official Zoning Map.
G. 
Withdrawal of application. An applicant may withdraw an application by submitting a statement to that effect in writing to the Zoning Administrator or Development Administrator as appropriate. In the event of and upon such withdrawal, processing of the application shall cease without further action.
H. 
Appeals. Every action contesting a decision of the City Council adopting or failing to adopt a proposed zoning ordinance or amendment thereto, or granting or failing to grant a special use permit or special exception, shall be filed within 30 days of the decision with the Fredericksburg Circuit Court pursuant to Code of Virginia § 15.2-2285F.
[Amended 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
I. 
Subsequent applications.
(1) 
Once an application for a Zoning Map amendment, special use permit, special exception, variance, a certificate of appropriateness, or administrative modification has been officially submitted, substantially the same petition will not be accepted for reconsideration within a period of one year.
(2) 
Following a denial of approval for a proposed site plan or subdivision plat, a land owner may modify, correct, and resubmit the site plan or subdivision plat for approval at any time. Each resubmission shall be processed as a discrete application, and shall be accompanied by the applicable fee(s) and required application materials.
A. 
Preparation.
(1) 
The Planning Commission shall prepare and recommend a Comprehensive Plan for the physical development of the City.
(2) 
In the preparation of a Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Commission shall make careful and comprehensive surveys and studies of the existing conditions and trends of growth, and of the probable future requirements of its territory and inhabitants. The Comprehensive Plan shall be made with the purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the territory which will, in accordance with present and probable future needs and resources, best promote the health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants, including the elderly and persons with disabilities.
(3) 
The Comprehensive Plan shall be general in nature, in that it shall designate the general or approximate location, character, and extent of each feature, including any road improvement and any transportation improvement, shown on the plan and shall indicate where existing lands or facilities are proposed to be extended, widened, removed, relocated, vacated, narrowed, abandoned, or changed in use as the case may be.
(4) 
The preparation, scope, purpose, and implementation of the Comprehensive Plan shall comply with the applicable provisions of Code of Virginia Title 15.2, Chapter 22, Article 3.
(5) 
Prior to the recommendation of a Comprehensive Plan or any part thereof, the Planning Commission shall: (i) post the plan or part thereof on the City's website; (ii) give public notice; and (iii) hold a public hearing on the plan, all in compliance with the requirements of Code of Virginia § 15.2-2225.
(6) 
Upon approval, the Planning Commission shall by resolution recommend the plan, or part thereof, to the governing body and a copy shall be certified to the governing body by the secretary of the Planning Commission, and the Planning Commission shall otherwise comply with the requirements of Code of Virginia § 15.2-2225.
(7) 
Inadvertent failure to post information on a website in accordance with this section shall not invalidate action taken by the Planning Commission following notice and public hearing as required herein.
B. 
Adoption or disapproval.
(1) 
After certification of the plan or part thereof, the City Council shall post the Comprehensive Plan on the City's website, hold at least one public hearing pursuant to public notice, and proceed to a consideration of the plan or part thereof, all in accordance with Code of Virginia § 15.2-2226.
(2) 
The City Council shall act within 90 days of the Planning Commission's recommending resolution.
(3) 
The City Council may approve and adopt, amend and adopt, or disapprove the plan.
(4) 
Any Comprehensive Plan or part thereof adopted by the City Council shall be posted on the City's website.
(5) 
Inadvertent failure to post information on the City's website shall not invalidate action taken by the City Council following notice and public hearing as required herein.
C. 
Periodic review. At least once every five years, the Comprehensive Plan shall be reviewed by the Planning Commission to determine whether it is advisable that the plan be amended.
D. 
Amendments. After the adoption of a Comprehensive Plan, all amendments to it shall be recommended, and approved and adopted, respectively, as provided by Code of Virginia, § 15.2-2229.
E. 
Legal status and certification of public facilities.
[Amended 5-23-2017 by ord. No. 17-13]
(1) 
The legal status of the Comprehensive Plan shall be as provided in Code of Virginia § 15.2-2232.
(2) 
Unless a feature is already shown in the Comprehensive Plan, or is deemed so under § 15.2-2232D, no public facility referenced in Code of Virginia § 15.2-2232A shall be constructed, established or authorized, unless and until the general location or approximate location, character and extent thereof has been submitted to and approved by the Planning Commission as being substantially in accord with the adopted Comprehensive Plan or part thereof. Prior to consideration of any such application, the Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing. Widening, narrowing, extension, enlargement, vacation or change of use of streets or public areas shall likewise be submitted for approval, but paving, repair, reconstruction, improvement, drainage or similar work and normal service extensions of public utilities or public service corporations shall not require approval unless such work involves a change in location or extent of a street or public area.
(a) 
The Planning Commission shall act on any such application within 60 days of the date the application is officially submitted, unless City Council extends the time.
(b) 
The Commission shall act on an application for certification of a telecommunications facility submitted as required by the Code of Virginia § 15.2-2232, within 90 days of the date the application is officially submitted, unless City Council has authorized an extension of not more than 60 days.
(c) 
The Planning Commission shall communicate its findings to the City Council, indicating its approval or disapproval with written reasons therefor.
(3) 
The owner or owners or their agents may appeal the decision of the Planning Commission to the City Council within 10 days after the decision of the Planning Commission. The appeal shall be by written petition to the City Council setting forth the reasons for the appeal. The City Council shall hear and determine the appeal within 60 days from its filing. The City Council may review the Planning Commission's action on its own initiative. A majority vote of the City Council shall overrule the Planning Commission.
F. 
The Development Administrator shall deem public streets and public utility extensions as features already shown in the Comprehensive Plan when they are identified within, but are not the entire subject of, a subdivision plat or a site plan that complies with the requirements of Article 5.
[Added 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
Text amendments to this chapter shall proceed through the standard public hearing process set forth in § 72-22.1, General procedures.
A. 
Purpose and applicability.
(1) 
Requests for reclassification of the zoning for specific property, also referred to in this chapter as "Zoning Map amendments," constitute amendments of the City's zoning regulations, and therefore such applications shall proceed through the standard public hearing process set forth in § 72-21.1, and in accordance with the requirements of Code of Virginia §§ 15.2-2285 and 15.2-2286(A)(7).
[Amended 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
(2) 
Pursuant to the authority granted within Code of Virginia §§ 15.2-2296 and 15.2-2303 and the provisions of this chapter, the City Council may approve an application for an amendment of the zoning classification of any property, subject to reasonable conditions proffered by the applicant for the protection of the community, which conditions are not generally applicable to land similarly zoned.
[Amended 1-14-2014 by Ord. No. 14-02]
(3) 
It is the purpose of this section to implement the general state policy articulated with the Code of Virginia § 15.2-2296, and thereby to provide a flexible and adaptable zoning method to accommodate differing land uses through a mechanism for addressing and reconciling conflicts between competing or incompatible land uses. Frequently, traditional zoning methods and procedures are inadequate to address such conflicts.
(4) 
City Council may consider and act upon conditions proffered as part of an application for approval of an amendment of the zoning classification of any property, in accordance with the standards and criteria set forth within Code of Virginia § 15.2-2303.
[Amended 1-14-2014 by Ord. No. 14-02]
(5) 
City Council may accept or reject any or all of the conditions set forth within a statement of proffered conditions.
(6) 
Applications for zoning amendments to establish a planned zoning district on specific property are a subcategory of conditional zoning, and shall be considered under this section, as supplemented by the additional procedures set forth below in § 72-22.5.
B. 
Process.
(1) 
Applications for Zoning Map amendments shall be made to the Zoning Administrator.
(2) 
Submittal requirements for conditional zoning are contained in the UDO Procedures Manual.
(3) 
No application for approval of conditional zoning shall be deemed officially submitted until proffers are submitted in writing.
(4) 
All written statements of proffered conditions shall be prepared and submitted in accordance with the City's UDO Procedures Manual. Each statement of proffered conditions shall be signed and dated by the owner prior to the City Council public hearing.
[Amended 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
C. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, Review timing, was repealed 11-11-2014 by Ord. No. 14-39.
D. 
Changes to proffers while application is pending.
[Amended 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
(1) 
Proffers may be amended during the process of application review by the City Council. Once a public hearing has begun, amended proffers may be accepted for review and consideration as part of an application, if the amendment(s) does not materially affect the overall proposal, or zone the land to a more intensive use classification than was contained in the public hearing notice. If amended proffers materially affect the overall proposal, or would zone the land to a more intensive use classification than was contained in the public hearing notice, then the City Council shall hold a new public hearing on the amended application. The City Council may, at its option, refer the amended application to the Planning Commission for a new public hearing and recommendation.
(2) 
The applicant shall reimburse the City for all costs of any additional public hearings necessitated by amended proffers submitted after a public hearing has begun.
E. 
Effect of accepted proffers.
(1) 
Once proffered and accepted by the City Council as part of an amendment to its zoning regulations, proffered conditions shall continue in full force and effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property covered by such conditions; provided, however, that such conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised body of zoning regulations.
(2) 
Following acceptance of proffered conditions by the City Council, such conditions shall become zoning regulations applicable to the subject property, in addition to the zoning regulations set forth within this UDO. Thereafter, the use and development of the subject property shall be in conformance with the proffered conditions, and other applicable zoning regulations.
F. 
Recordation of notice of conditional zoning. Within 30 days after City Council approval of proffered conditions, the applicant shall cause a notice of conditional zoning to be recorded among the land records of the Circuit Court of the City, in a form approved by the City Attorney, indicating that such proffered conditions shall run with the rezoned property and shall remain in effect until the City Council amends the zoning on the property or otherwise modifies the conditions. A copy of the recorded notice shall be provided to the Zoning Administrator.
G. 
Administrative record of conditions. The Zoning Map shall show by an appropriate symbol on the map the existence of conditions attached to the zoning on the map. The Zoning Administrator shall keep and make available for public inspection a conditional zoning index. The index shall provide ready access to the ordinance creating the conditions in addition to the regulations provided for in a particular zoning district or zone, and the Zoning Administrator shall otherwise maintain the index in accordance with the requirements of Code of Virginia § 15.2-2300.
H. 
Amendments and variations of conditions. The owner of any property subject to conditions proffered and accepted by City Council in connection with a zoning reclassification may apply to City Council for amendments to or modifications of such conditions, subject to the provisions of Code of Virginia § 15.2-2302. Any such application shall be submitted and processed as a new application, subject to the same submission requirements and approval process as the original application.
I. 
Guarantee of conditions. The Development Administrator shall have the authority to require the owner to give a guarantee, satisfactory to City Council, in an amount sufficient for and conditioned upon the construction of any physical improvements required by the conditions, or a contract for the construction of such improvements and the contractor's guarantee. Such guarantee shall be reduced or released by the City Council upon the submission of satisfactory evidence that the construction of such improvements has been completed in whole or in part.
J. 
Enforcement of conditions.
(1) 
The Zoning Administrator shall be vested with all necessary authority on behalf of the City Council to administer and enforce conditions proffered and accepted by City Council as part of a zoning amendment, including:
(a) 
The ordering in writing of the remedy of any noncompliance with such conditions.
(b) 
The bringing of legal action to insure compliance with such conditions, including injunction, abatement, or other appropriate action or proceeding.
(c) 
Requiring a guarantee, as set forth within § 72-22.4 above.
(2) 
Failure of a property owner to meet all conditions attached to the zoning of his property shall constitute a zoning violation and cause to deny approval of any required use, occupancy, or building permit, as may be appropriate.
K. 
Review of condition enforcement decisions. Any zoning applicant or any other person aggrieved by a decision of the Zoning Administrator made pursuant to the provisions of § 72.22.4 may petition the City Council for a review of the decision. All such petitions for review shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator and with the Clerk of Council within 30 days from the date of the decision for which review is sought. All such petitions shall specify the grounds upon which the petitioner is aggrieved. Appeals brought pursuant to this subsection shall be governed by Code of Virginia § 15.2-2301.
A. 
Purpose and applicability.
(1) 
The provisions of this section shall establish the requirements for review and approval of areas designated for mixed use or planned unit developments. Any application to rezone land to a planned development zoning district shall be considered in accordance with the procedure for an application for conditional zoning, as supplemented herein. Any such application shall be accompanied by a General Development Plan. Matters depicted and described on the General Development Plan, and any written materials submitted as part of such plan constitute proffered conditions.
(2) 
The purpose of this section is to exercise the authority granted in Code of Virginia §§ 15.2-2260, 15.2-2280, 15.2-2283, 15.2-2284, 15.2-2286(A)(8) and (A)(9), 15.2-2296 et seq., and other applicable provisions of Code of Virginia Title 15.2, Chapter 22.
B. 
Process. To initiate a request for the rezoning of property to a planned development zoning district, an applicant shall complete a rezoning application, which shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator. In addition to the submission requirements set forth within the UDO Procedures Manual, the application shall be accompanied by a proposed General Development Plan as described in the Procedures Manual.
C. 
General Development Plan.
(1) 
The proposed General Development Plan, and any amendments thereto submitted during the process of reviewing the application, shall be reviewed using the same procedure set forth within this § 72.22.5.
(2) 
Once accepted and approved as part of the approval of a zoning reclassification, the plan approved by City Council shall be referred to as the Final General Development Plan.
(3) 
Once accepted and approved, the use and development of the subject property shall be in compliance with the requirements of § 72-33 of this chapter and with the contents of the Final General Development Plan. The zoning regulations applicable to the property, including, without limitation, the contents of the General Development Plan, shall be administered and enforced by the Zoning Administrator as set forth within §§ 72-22.4 and 72-70 et seq. of this chapter, as applicable.
(4) 
The Final General Development Plan shall have the effect of, and shall be enforceable as, an approved preliminary subdivision plat.
(5) 
Revisions to Final General Development Plan. Any substantial changes to an approved Final General Development Plan must be submitted and approved in the same manner as the original plan, including, without limitation, each of the following:
(a) 
Any increase in the density of the development;
(b) 
Substantial change in circulation or access;
(c) 
Substantial change in the mixture of dwelling unit types included in the project;
(d) 
Substantial change in grading or utility provisions;
(e) 
Substantial change in the mixture of land uses or an increase in the amount of land devoted to commercial, office, or institutional purposes;
(f) 
Any reduction in the amount of approved open space, landscaping, or buffering;
(g) 
Substantial change in architectural or site design features of the development; and
(h) 
Any other change that the Administrator finds not to be in substantial conformity with the approved final General Development Plan.
(6) 
The Zoning Administrator is hereby granted authority to approve a minor modification to an approved Final General Development Plan, upon a finding that such plan, as modified, will remain in substantial conformity with the original approved Final General Development plan.
(7) 
Other changes to a Final General Development Plan may be approved as follows:
(a) 
The Zoning Administrator may grant a requested modification from any provision of § 72-33, or of the final General Development Plan.
(b) 
Special exceptions may be granted by City Council, with respect to generally applicable regulations set forth within § 72-33 (Planned development districts), in accordance with § 72-22.7 (Special exceptions) of this chapter.
(c) 
The Development Administrator may approve changes involving subdivision standards and requirements, in accordance with provisions of Article 72-5 of this chapter applicable to amendments of approved preliminary subdivision plats.
A. 
Purpose and applicability.
(1) 
The purpose of this section is to provide for certain uses which, because of their unique characteristics or potential impacts on neighboring properties or the public, are not generally permitted in certain zoning districts as a matter of right, but which may, under the right set of circumstances and conditions, be acceptable in certain specific locations. These uses are permitted only through the issuance of a special use permit by the City Council after ensuring that the use can be appropriately accommodated on the specific property; will be in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan; can be constructed and operated in a manner which is compatible with the surrounding land uses and overall character of the community; and that the public interest and general welfare of the citizens of the City will be protected.
[Amended 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
(2) 
No inherent right exists to receive a special use permit. Such permits are at the discretion of the City Council under a specific set of circumstances and conditions, and each application and situation is unique. Consequently, mere compliance with the generally applicable requirements may not be sufficient and additional measures or conditions, occasionally substantial, may be necessary to mitigate the impact of the proposed development. In other situations, no set of conditions would be sufficient to approve an application, even though the same request in another location would be approved.
(3) 
Only those uses that are enumerated as special uses allowable in a zoning district, as set forth in the Use Table enumerated within § 72-40.2 of this chapter, may be authorized by City Council through the approval of a special use permit.
B. 
Process.
(1) 
Applications for special use permits shall be made to the Zoning Administrator.
(2) 
In addition to the submission requirements for a special use permit as set forth in the UDO Procedures Manual, the application shall be accompanied by a proposed General Development Plan as described in the Procedures Manual.
C. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, Review timing, was repealed 11-11-2014 by Ord. No. 14-39.
D. 
Review criteria.
(1) 
City Council may, by resolution, approve an application for a special use permit, upon a determination that the proposed special use at the location specified within the application, will be:
(a) 
In harmony with the adopted Comprehensive Plan;
(b) 
In harmony with the purpose and intent of the zoning district regulations; and
(c) 
In harmony with the existing uses or planned uses of neighboring properties.
(2) 
In considering an application for a special use permit, City Council shall consider whether the proposed use will have any potentially adverse impact(s) on the surrounding neighborhood, or the community in general; and if so, whether there are any reasonable conditions of approval that would satisfactorily mitigate such impacts. Potential adverse impacts to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) 
Traffic or parking congestion;
(b) 
Noise, lights, dust, odor, fumes, vibration, and other factors which adversely affect the natural environment;
(c) 
Discouragement of economic development activities that may provide desirable employment or enlarge the tax base;
(d) 
Undue density of population or intensity of use in relation to the community facilities existing or available;
(e) 
Reduction in the availability of affordable housing in the neighborhood;
(f) 
Impact on school population and facilities;
(g) 
Destruction of or encroachment upon conservation or historic districts;
(h) 
Conformity with federal, state and local laws, as demonstrated and certified by the applicant; and
(i) 
Massing and scale of the project.
(3) 
As minimum standards for a proposed special use, and to mitigate the impact of a proposed use, the Planning Commission may recommend and City Council may impose reasonable conditions upon the use and development of the subject property, including, without limitation:
(a) 
Appropriate screening, buffer planting and landscaping.
(b) 
Enhanced utility, drainage, parking, sidewalk, loading and other onsite facility design requirements.
(c) 
Sign standards of a stricter nature than those which apply to the district in which the proposed use is located.
(d) 
Open space requirements of a stricter nature than those which apply to the district in which the proposed use is located.
(e) 
Participation in off-site pro rata improvements for reasonable and necessary sewerage and drainage facilities as provided for in this section.
(f) 
Other reasonable standards and criteria, as deemed necessary in the public interest to secure compliance with this chapter and the Comprehensive Plan by the City Council.
(4) 
Conditions imposed in connection with residential special use permits, wherein the applicant proposes affordable housing, shall be consistent with the objective of providing affordable housing. When imposing conditions on residential projects specifying materials and methods of construction or specific design features, the City Council shall consider the impact of the conditions upon the affordability of housing.
E. 
Commencement of use; expiration; renewal.
(1) 
Any use authorized by a special use permit shall commence within two years of the date of approval of the special use permit, as a condition of the special use permit unless provided otherwise by the City Council.
(2) 
The Planning Commission may recommend and the City Council may require, as a condition of a special use permit, that it shall be approved for a specified period of time or that it may be periodically renewed by the City Council. Unless otherwise specified, a special use permit shall be valid for an indefinite period of time. Any application seeking renewal or extension of a special use permit shall be subject to the same procedures as are specified in this section for the original issuance of such permit.
(3) 
An application seeking to extend or renew a special use permit shall be filed in writing with the Zoning Administrator a minimum of 60 days prior to the expiration date of the permit, unless a lesser time is approved by the Zoning Administrator for good cause shown. The Zoning Administrator shall inspect the subject property, review the applicant's (or property owner's) record of compliance, and make a report to the Planning Commission on whether the special use permit still satisfies the provisions of this section. When a timely application is filed, the special use permit shall remain valid until the application for extension or renewal has been acted upon by the City Council.
(4) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, an approved special use permit shall be and remain valid during extended time periods referenced within Code of Virginia § 15.2-2209.1, as may be applicable.
F. 
Revocation; additional remedies.
(1) 
The City Council may revoke a special use permit at any time, following a public hearing after notice as required by Code of Virginia § 15.2-2204, upon finding that the permittee has failed to comply with one or more terms of such permit or to comply with any other provision of this chapter.
(2) 
Following the public hearing required by Subsection F(1) above, City Council may revoke, suspend, or uphold the permit, but shall not modify the permit without a referral to the Planning Commission and public hearings as set forth within § 72-22.6.
(3) 
Nothing in this subsection shall preclude or limit the City from exercising any rights or remedies under Article 72-7 of this chapter, in addition to any revocation of a special use permit.
A. 
Purpose and applicability. This section shall govern the review and approval of applications for special exception. Except as otherwise specifically provided within this chapter, the City Council reserves unto itself, under suitable regulations and safeguards, the right to modify or grant exceptions to any of the general regulations within any zoning district, through the approval of a special exception. The purpose of a special exception is to provide needed Elasticity and usefulness of the zoning regulations, in extraordinary or special circumstances. The granting of a special exception for a use not otherwise permitted by the zoning regulations may be appropriate for uses which are unique and unlikely of recurrence. The granting of a special exception from bulk regulations should only be considered in the context of a special use permit, special exception (use) or conditional rezoning application.
B. 
Process.
(1) 
Applications for special exceptions shall be made to the Zoning Administrator.
(2) 
In addition to the submission requirements for a special exceptions set forth in the UDO Procedures Manual, the application shall be accompanied by a proposed General Development Plan as described in the Procedures Manual.
C. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, Review timing, was repealed 11-11-2014 by Ord. No. 14-39.
D. 
Review criteria. When the Planning Commission and City Council review, consider, and act upon an application for a special exception, they shall do so using the following criteria:
(1) 
Whether the grant of the special exception is consistent with the City's Comprehensive Plan;
(2) 
Whether the special exception is consistent with the goals, purposes and objectives of this chapter;
(3) 
Whether there has been a sufficient period of time for investigation and community planning with respect to the application;
(4) 
Whether the special exception is consistent with the principles of good zoning practice, including the purposes of the district in which the special exception would be located, existing and planned uses of surrounding land, and the characteristics of the property involved;
(5) 
Whether the proposed use or aspect of the development requiring the special exception is special, extraordinary or unusual; and
(6) 
Whether the proposed exception potentially results in any adverse impact(s) on the surrounding neighborhood, or the community in general; and if so, whether there are any reasonable conditions of approval that would satisfactorily mitigate such impacts.
E. 
Conditions. The City Council may approve an application for a special exception subject to reasonable conditions addressing matters set forth within § 72-22.7.
[Amended 1-10-2017 by Ord. No. 16-28; 5-23-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
A. 
Purpose and applicability. This section sets forth the procedures for the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) to consider applications for variances, appeals of administrative actions, and Zoning Map interpretations as provided in Code of Virginia §§ 15.2-2309 and 15.2-2310.
B. 
Process.
(1) 
Applications for variances shall be made to the Zoning Administrator in accordance with rules adopted by the BZA pursuant to Code of Virginia § 15.2-2310.
(2) 
A variance, appeal, or Zoning Map interpretation shall be heard and decided by the BZA after notice and a public hearing. The Board hearing shall be in compliance with the procedures set forth within Code of Virginia § 15.2-2309.
(3) 
Submittal requirements for a zoning variance are contained in the UDO Procedures Manual.
C. 
Review criteria. The BZA shall apply the definitions in Code of Virginia § 15.2-2201, and the review criteria and burdens of proof provided in Code of Virginia §§ 15.2-2308 through 15.2-2312, in hearing and deciding any appeal, variance application, or Zoning Map interpretation appeal.
D. 
Treatment of property as conforming. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the property upon which a property owner has been granted a variance shall be treated as conforming for all purposes under state law and this chapter. The structure permitted by the variance may not be expanded, however, unless the expansion is within an area of the site or part of the structure for which no variance is required under this chapter. Where the expansion is proposed within an area of the site or part of the structure for which a variance is required, the approval of an additional variance shall be required.
E. 
Review authority and criteria, special exceptions; fences. The Board of Zoning Appeals may hear and decide applications for a special exception from the regulations governing fence heights in any front yard (including a secondary front yard) in any zoning district. Special exceptions may be granted in cases where the size, configuration, or other unusual characteristic of the lot, including locations of existing mature vegetation or trees, requires an exception from the zoning requirements in order to provide a reasonable fenced area without creating significant impact to adjacent properties or the neighborhood. The Board may impose such conditions relating to the fence as it may deem necessary in the public interest, including limiting the duration of the special exception, and may require a guarantee or bond to ensure that the conditions imposed are being and will continue to be complied with. In considering an application, the Board shall apply the following criteria:
(1) 
Whether approval of the special exception will impair an adequate supply of light or air to adjacent property, or cause or substantially increase the danger of fire or the spread of fire, or endanger public safety, including impacts to adequate sight lines.
(2) 
Whether the proposal will be compatible with the existing character and pattern of development in the surrounding neighborhood and facilitate an attractive and harmonious community.
(3) 
Whether the application represents the only reasonable means and location on the lot to accommodate the proposed fence given the natural constraints of the lot or the existing development on the lot.
(4) 
The height of the proposed fence and the use of opaque or transparent design; the use of a buffer area between the public right-of-way and the fence. The fence shall not exceed six feet in height.
F. 
Review authority and criteria, special exceptions; signs in the Creative Maker District. The Board of Zoning Appeals may hear and decide applications for a special exception from the regulations governing sign height, setback, and total permitted square feet within the Creative Maker District. The Board may impose such conditions relating to the sign as it may deem necessary in the public interest, Special exceptions may be granted by applying the following criteria:
[Added 9-8-2020 by Ord. No. 20-17[1]]
(1) 
The sign is no taller than 25 feet.
(2) 
The sign is a prominent architectural feature of the building on the site, architecturally compatible with neighboring character structures.
(3) 
The sign is in accordance with the purpose of the frontage and building type for which it is proposed.
(4) 
The sign is not a standard internally lit box sign.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former Subsections F and G as Subsections G and H.
G. 
The Board of Zoning Appeals is authorized to revoke a special exception previously granted by it, if the Board determines that there has not been compliance with the terms or conditions of the special exception. No special exception may be revoked except after notice and hearing as provided in this section. However, when giving any required notice to the owners, their agents, or occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, the Board may give such notice by first-class mail rather than by registered or certified mail.
H. 
Appeals. Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by an action of the BZA, or any aggrieved taxpayer or any officer, department, board or bureau of the City may file with the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the City of Fredericksburg a petition, specifying the grounds on which aggrieved within 30 days after the final decision of the Board, pursuant to Code of Virginia, § 15.2-2314.