BZA ap­proves fam­ily apt amid con­fus­ing zon­ing or­di­nance

‘You can see how easy it would be to cir­cum­vent the or­di­nance’

Rappahannock News - - NEWS • EVENTS - By Patty Hardee

The Rap­pa­han­nock County Board of Zon­ing Ap­peals on De­cem­ber 27 voted unan­i­mously to ap­prove a spe­cial use per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion for a fam­ily apart­ment to be built on Cabin Lane in Amissville.

Jef­frey Ni­code­mus and Mar­jorie Boucher told the com­mis­sion they want to build a 954-square foot fam­ily apart­ment to house Boucher’s fa­ther, who is in poor health.

Af­ter his fa­ther-in-law passes away, said Ni­code­mus, the new struc­ture would be used for his or his wife’s busi­ness. They said they have no plans to rent to any­one ex­cept a fam­ily mem­ber. Un­der the cur­rent zon­ing or­di­nance, a fam­ily apart­ment must be used by a fam­ily mem­ber for two years.

Dur­ing the dis­cus­sion pe­riod, the BZA mem­bers noted that in the years since the 5-acre lot owned by Ni­code­mus and Boucher had been ap­proved, changes to the zon­ing or­di­nance had es­tab­lished stricter den­sity lim­its of one dwelling unit per 25 acres.

Not­ing that the cou­ple has a right to ap­ply for the fam­ily apart­ment and that it meets the zon­ing stan­dards, David Kon­ick said, “We have an is­sue and I don’t know how to re­solve it. Maybe we need to send it to the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion. On lots on less than 25 acres in the agri­cul­tural zone, there are five 5-acre lots [on Cabin Lane], three with a main dwelling and a sec­ond dwelling. So in those five lots, there will be a to­tal of eight dwelling units.

“[This] un­der­mines the in­tegrity of the over­all plan in the com­pre­hen­sive plan and the zon­ing or­di­nance…. You can see how easy it would be to cir­cum­vent the or­di­nance” by rent­ing to a fam­ily mem­ber for two years and then us­ing the dwelling as a rental unit.

BZA mem­ber William An­der­son was ab­sent, but the other mem­bers — Kon­ick, Chair Alex Sharp, Vice Chair Jennifer Matthews, and Chris Bird — voted to ap­prove the ap­pli­ca­tion.

BY LUKE CHRISTO­PHER

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