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County of York, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 11-15(R), 11-16-2011; Ord. No. 14-2, 2-4-2014; Ord. No. 14-20(R), 10-21-2014]
(a) 
The minimum area of any parcel proposed for the keeping of horses or other livestock accessory and incidental to a single-family detached residence, or for a commercial horse stable, shall be two usable acres. In determining usable acreage, the following portions of the property shall be excluded from the minimum usable acreage calculation:
(1) 
The area occupied by any residential structures;
(2) 
The area of required front or side yards associated with the residence;
(3) 
Any area with an elevation less than two feet above mean sea level;
(4) 
The area encompassed by a twenty-five-foot wide buffer on the landward/upland side of the two-foot contour;
(b) 
The maximum number of horses or other livestock permitted as an accessory and incidental use on a residential property shall be one per each usable acre of land as defined in Subsection (a) above. In the case of commercial stables, the maximum number of horses permitted shall be two per usable acre of land or such fewer number as the Board of Supervisors may deem appropriate given the characteristics of the subject property and the surrounding area.
(c) 
Horses or other livestock shall not be stabled, pastured, or otherwise kept within 1,000 feet of a drinking water reservoir unless it can be proven to the satisfaction of the health department and the zoning administrator that any runoff will be away from the reservoir and that public health will not be negatively impacted. In such cases, a 200-foot buffer must be maintained. This shall not be interpreted to preclude the riding of horses or establishment of bridle trails closer than the specified distance provided that the health department and owner of the reservoir approve.
The owner shall provide the County with a soil conservation and management plan prepared by a qualified professional which shall include:
(1) 
A nutrient management plan for the proper storage and application of animal waste;
(2) 
An erosion control plan to ensure the integrity of the slopes; and
(3) 
A best management practices program for controlling and treating surface runoff.
In determining consistency with this condition, the zoning administrator may require that the above plans be reviewed and approved by the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Soil Conservation Service.
(d) 
The keeping of horses or other livestock as an accessory use on residential property shall be solely for the recreational purposes of the family living on the premises. Boarding of horses or other livestock owned by others is prohibited.
(e) 
All horses and other livestock shall be kept in pens or other enclosures designed and maintained for secure confinement.
(f) 
The Board of Supervisors may impose such additional conditions, including special requirements for setbacks of pastures and requirements for drainage control, as deemed necessary to promote the public interest and welfare and ensure that such use will not be detrimental to the character of the neighborhood.
(g) 
Such uses shall comply in all respects with the standards and requirements established in Chapter 4, Article II, Livestock, York County Code.
[Ord. No. 11-15(R), 11-16-2011; Ord. No. 14-12, 6-17-2014; Ord. No. 14-20(R), 10-21-2014; Ord. No. 17-12, 9-19-2017]
Keeping and housing domestic chickens as an accessory activity on residentially-zoned and occupied property in the R33, R20, R13 and WCI Districts, and as an accessory activity on properties less than two usable acres in area in the RC and RR Districts, shall be permitted in accordance with the following terms and conditions. These provisions shall not be construed to allow the keeping of game birds, ducks, geese, pheasants, guinea fowl, or similar fowl/poultry.
(a) 
Chickens allowed pursuant to this section shall be kept and raised primarily for the benefit and enjoyment of the occupants of the property. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the sharing of eggs with friends or neighbors or the sale of eggs, either on or off the premises.
(b) 
The maximum number of chickens permitted on a residential lot shall be one hen per 2,500 square feet of lot area, not to exceed a maximum of 16 hens.
(c) 
No chickens shall be allowed on townhouse, duplex, condominium, apartment or manufactured housing park properties.
(d) 
No roosters shall be allowed.
(e) 
Pens, coops, or cages shall not be located in any front or side yard area.
(f) 
All pens, coops, or cages shall be situated at least 10 feet from adjoining property lines and 25 feet from any dwelling located on a property not owned by the applicant. Pens, coops, or cages shall not be located in a storm drainage area that would allow fecal matter to enter any storm drainage system or stream.
(g) 
All chickens shall be provided with a covered, predator-proof shelter that is thoroughly ventilated, provides adequate sun and shade and protection from the elements, is designed to be easily accessed and cleaned. Such structures shall be enclosed on all sides and shall have a roof and at least one access door. Coops shall provide adequate space for free movement and a healthy environment for birds.
(h) 
All pens, coops, or cages shall be kept in a neat and sanitary condition at all times, and must be cleaned on a regular basis so as to prevent odors perceptible at the property boundaries. All feed for the chickens shall be kept in a secure container or location to prevent the attraction of rodents and other animals.
(i) 
No person shall store, stockpile or permit any accumulation of chicken litter and waste in any manner whatsoever that, due to odor, attraction of flies or other pests, or for any other reason diminishes the rights of adjacent property owners to enjoy reasonable use of their property.
(j) 
In the case of proposals for accessory backyard chicken-keeping in the RC, RR, R33, R20, R13 and WCI Districts, the property owner must file an application with the Division of Development Services, on such forms as the Division provides. Such application shall be accompanied by a $15 processing fee. The application shall include a sketch showing the area where the chickens will be housed and the types and size of enclosures in which the chickens shall be housed. The sketch must show all dimensions and setbacks. Upon review and determination that the proposed chicken-keeping complies with the standards set forth above, the Division of Development and Compliance shall issue a permit to document that the proposed activity has been reviewed and is authorized pursuant to the terms of this chapter. Accessory residential chicken-keeping operations shall be subject to periodic inspection to assure compliance with the performance standards established in this section.
(k) 
Proposals for keeping more chickens than allowed by Subsection (b) above, for observing setbacks of a lesser dimension than any of those set forth above, or for keeping roosters, may be considered and approved by Special Use Permit in accordance with all applicable procedural requirements.
[Ord. No. 14-20(R), 10-21-2014; Ord. No. 17-12, 9-19-2017]
(a) 
Notwithstanding the minimum area requirements stated elsewhere in this chapter for any zoning classification, the minimum area of any parcel proposed for an agricultural use involving livestock, as defined in § 24.1-1-104, shall be two usable acres. In determining usable acreage, the following portions of the property shall be excluded from the minimum usable acreage calculation:
(1) 
The area occupied by any residential structure;
(2) 
The area of required front or side yards associated with the residence;
(3) 
Any area with an elevation less than two feet above mean sea level;
(4) 
The area encompassed by a twenty-five-foot wide buffer on the landward/upland side of the two-foot contour;
(b) 
Any open-air pen, fenced area, or other confinement area for livestock in which the available space is less than 200 square feet per animal shall be located at least 100 feet from the property line of any adjoining parcel on which a residential dwelling unit exists, is under construction, or would be permitted pursuant to its existing zoning classification. In no event shall any pen or confinement area, regardless of its size/area and the number of animals confined, be located less than 25 feet from any perimeter property line. In addition, the following standards shall be observed:
(1) 
Any structure or fenced area used to confine swine shall be located at least 500 feet from any dwelling not located on the premises and at least 300 feet from any property line.
(2) 
Any structure or pen used for raising more than 16 chickens shall be located at least 200 feet from any dwelling not located on the premises and at least 100 feet from any property line.
(c) 
Fencing around livestock pasture areas shall be set back at least 25 feet from any perimeter property line that abuts a parcel less than two acres in area.
(d) 
All such uses shall comply with all applicable provisions of Chapter 4, Article II. Livestock, and Chapter 23.2, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, of the York County Code.
(e) 
All such operations shall be conducted in accordance with all existing and applicable best management practices approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board with the objective of preventing pollution of, or change in the condition of, the waters of any stream or other water body or which results in drainage or stormwater discharges of a quantity or quality detrimental to adjoining properties.
(f) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing requirements, horsekeeping accessory to a residential use, commercial stables, and domestic chicken-keeping accessory to a residential use, shall be permitted pursuant to the standards set forth in §§ 24.1-414 and 24.1-414.1 of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 14-20(R), 10-21-2014]
When proposed to be established as the principal use of a property in non-commercial zoning districts where commercial aquaculture and the associated docking of workboats and off-loading seafood is permitted pursuant to the listings in § 24.1-306, Table of Land Uses, the following standards and requirements shall apply:
(a) 
Notwithstanding the minimum area requirements stated elsewhere in this chapter for any zoning classification, the minimum area of any parcel proposed to be used for commercial aquaculture shall be two usable acres. In determining usable acreage, the following portions of the property shall be excluded from the minimum usable acreage calculation:
(1) 
The area occupied by any residential structure;
(2) 
The area of required front or side yards associated with the residence;
(3) 
Any area with an elevation less than two feet above mean sea level;
(4) 
The area encompassed by a twenty-five-foot wide buffer on the landward/upland side of the two-foot contour;
(b) 
Any parcel used for this purpose shall have a minimum width of 100 feet at the shoreline, measured between the two points where the side lot lines intersect the mean low water line.
(c) 
The docking of workboats and loading or off-loading activities associated with an aquaculture operation shall not be permitted within 100 feet of any residential structure located on an abutting property owned or occupied by a person other than the owner of the property on which the aquaculture operation is being conducted. In no event shall any workboat docking or aquaculture activity be conducted within 25 feet of any abutting property. The number of workboats used in the operation and docked at the property's pier shall not exceed the capacity of the pier to accommodate them without need for rafting.
(d) 
Outdoor storage of goods, equipment, or materials (other than the workboat itself) shall be limited to a total of 1,000 square feet and shall not be located in any front or side yard, or within 25 feet of any property line. Any equipment or storage located on the property shall be screened from view from all public streets and adjacent properties by a landscaped buffer area supplemented, if determined necessary by the zoning administrator, by masonry or wooden fencing material. A twenty-five-foot wide landscaped buffer strip, landscaped in accordance with the Type 25 landscaping requirements set forth in § 24.1-243 of the Zoning Ordinance shall be provided along any property line that abuts a property on which a residence exists or could be constructed.
(e) 
Sludge, shells, or any other waste materials generated in the conduct of the aquaculture operation shall not be stored, stockpiled, or permitted to accumulate within 25 feet of any property line, within 100 feet of any residential structure located on an adjoining parcel, or, regardless of location, in any manner that is not consistent with best management practices for minimizing odor and the attraction of flies or other pests.
(f) 
All federal, state and local requirements for docking facilities shall be met and the necessary permits obtained prior to the issuance of a building permit for docks, piers, or boat houses.
(g) 
No overnight outdoor storage of seafood waste shall be permitted on the property. The term "sea-food waste" does not include clean oyster shells.
(h) 
Any outdoor or security lighting shall be shielded so that glare is not directed onto adjacent property.
(i) 
The number of workboats docked at the property shall not exceed the capacity of the pier or boat house,
(j) 
Any demand for parking, including vehicles being loaded or unloaded, generated by the conduct of such use shall be accommodated off the street.
(k) 
Any storage or utilization of combustible, toxic, or flammable substances shall be in accordance with the National Fire Prevention Code.
(l) 
All Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area requirements, including specifically the preparation of a water quality impact assessment, shall be followed.
(m) 
All aquaculture operations shall be conducted in accordance with all existing and applicable best management practices and shall be operated in a manner that prevents pollution of, or change in the condition of, the waters of any stream or other water body or which results in drainage or stormwater discharges of a quantity or quality detrimental to adjoining properties, or in violation of any federal, state or local environmental laws.
(n) 
Activities and equipment shall be operated in accordance with Best Management Practices so as to minimize noise impacts of trucks, forklifts, or other equipment and prevent it from being audible on adjacent or nearby residential property at levels greater than typical for a residential property.
(a) 
Plant nurseries, greenhouses, and landscape contracting and storage establishments shall be designed and used primarily for the growing of nursery stock for gardens, grounds, and yards and the wholesale or retail sale of such stock; and the off-site installation of such stock. When located in or adjacent to residential areas, such uses shall be designed and operated in a manner which is compatible with the adjacent residential area and may include the sale of ancillary items which are customarily associated with maintaining and preserving the life and health of nursery stock, grounds, gardens and yards.
(b) 
Off-street parking spaces shall be located at least 50 feet from any residential property line. Such parking areas shall be screened effectively from view from adjacent properties by the use of landscaping supplemented, if necessary, by wooden or masonry fencing.
(c) 
All loading and storage associated with a landscape contracting business shall be screened effectively from view from adjacent properties by landscaping supplemented by wooden or masonry fencing.
(d) 
For landscape contracting establishments located in residential zoning districts, no more than five vehicles or pieces of self-propelled equipment (other than automobiles) shall be operated from the site or stored there overnight, unless in a fully enclosed building.
(a) 
Animal hospitals, veterinary clinics, and commercial kennels located within 200 feet of a residential property line shall be within a completely enclosed building. Such building shall be adequately soundproofed and constructed so that there will be no emission of odor or noise detrimental to other properties or uses in the area.
(b) 
All animals shall be kept in pens or other enclosures designed and maintained for secure confinement.
(c) 
A waste management plan which ensures sanitary handling of animal wastes and prevents contamination or pollution of adjacent lands or water bodies shall be submitted to and approved by the zoning administrator prior to establishment of such uses.
(a) 
All animals in private kennels shall be kept in pens or other enclosures designed and maintained for secure confinement.
(b) 
The minimum setback for runs or pens shall be 50 feet from any residential lot line. In addition, such runs or pens shall be subject to the locational standards for accessory uses as specified in Article II, Division 7.
(c) 
All runs and pens shall be screened and buffered to reduce the visual and aural impact on adjacent properties.
(a) 
The proposed use shall access a public street which has sufficient capacity to convey the anticipated traffic associated with the proposed use.
(b) 
An integrated pesticides management plan shall be prepared and submitted with applications for approval.
[Ord. No. O97-18, 6-4-1997; Ord. No. 08-17(R), 3-17-2009; Ord. No. 17-12, 9-19-2017]
(a) 
A minimum of five acres shall be required for forestry operations.
(b) 
A forest management plan for all forestry operations shall be submitted to and approved by the Virginia Department of Forestry and the zoning administrator. The zoning administrator shall review the forest management plan for compliance with all applicable requirements of this chapter.
Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.1-306, forestry operations which occur to prevent the spread of disease or infestation as certified by the state forester or which occur on land in the County's land use tax program designated for forest use shall be permitted, without issuance of a use permit, upon approval by the zoning administrator of a forest management plan complying with the provisions of this section.
The zoning administrator shall either approve or disapprove the plan no later than 10 working days after submittal. In no case shall a forestry operation on land in the County's land use tax program designated for forest use proceed without the approval of the zoning administrator.
(c) 
All forestry operations shall be in accordance with the approved forest management plan. A forest management plan shall include:
(1) 
A detailed description of the property to be timbered including its current condition, characteristics of adjacent property, influence on water quality, identification of cultural and historical resources, and the presence of any environmentally sensitive features;
(2) 
A narrative description of all harvesting procedures, techniques for harvesting in sensitive areas, the location of main haul roads, skid trails, potential log landings and stream or drainage crossings, and timing of harvest;
(3) 
A reforestation plan, if required; and
(4) 
A depiction of all required buffer areas.
(d) 
Where stump removal, grubbing, or other soil disturbing activities are proposed in conjunction with tree harvesting, except those preparations for reforestation that are in accordance with the approved forest management plan, an erosion and sedimentation control plan shall be submitted to and approved by the County prior to commencement of any soil disturbing activity.
(e) 
All heritage, memorial, and specimen trees shall be protected and preserved during and after tree harvesting.
(f) 
Fifty-foot buffers within which no timbering shall occur shall be provided along all public roads and twenty-five-foot buffers shall be provided along the side and rear property lines. Fifty percent of the crown cover within the side and rear yard buffers may be harvested.
(g) 
Streamside management zones at least 50 feet in width, within which no timbering may occur, shall be preserved on each side of all perennial and intermittent streams. Upon request, the zoning administrator may approve harvesting 50% of the crown cover within the streamside management zone accompanied by an increase of the streamside management zone to 100 feet. This request must be accompanied by a recommendation of approval from the Virginia Department of Forestry.
(h) 
All property which is forested or timbered shall be replanted with seedling trees, within one year or the next growing season after the forestry operation is completed, unless the applicant can provide sufficient evidence to the zoning administrator as to why reforestation is not required. This provision shall not apply to property that is converted to a bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in Subsection B of Title 10.1-1163, Code of Virginia.
(i) 
If trees are removed from the buffer areas in excess of the provision of (f), the property owner shall be responsible for replanting the number removed with 2 1/2 inch caliper trees. This provision shall not be deemed to preclude cutting or thinning necessitated by disease or infestation and recommended by the Virginia Department of Forestry.
(a) 
Sales shall be limited to seasonal or perishable produce, including flowers and plants.
(b) 
A commercial entrance constructed to Virginia Department of Transportation standards shall be available for use by patrons.
(c) 
No fewer than five off-street parking spaces shall be available for use by patrons. Additional parking spaces may be required by the zoning administrator upon a determination of their need based on the size of the market and site.
(d) 
No overnight storage of vehicles shall be permitted unless the vehicles are fully screened from view from adjacent properties and rights-of-way.
(e) 
These standards shall not be interpreted to preclude the operation of farmers' markets on a routine or occasional basis as an accessory use to other commercial establishments or in a manner which shares parking, entrances, and the like with other commercial uses.