‘Events’ in rural Isle of Wight County

Published 12:31 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Zoning ordinance changes proposed

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Isle of Wight County is considering changing zoning regulations for a variety of business types, including tattoo parlors, events centers and adult entertainment establishments.

Faced with a lengthy set of changes, the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors Thursday deferred further discussion to a work session on Oct. 6.

The idea is to provide more flexibility for businesses in Isle of Wight County, said Isle of Wight County interim Planning and Zoning Director Richard Rudnicki.

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The proposed changes would shorten the distance between an adult entertainment establishment from one mile to 1,000 feet from another similar business, as well as residential areas, schools, child care facilities and parks. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Rudnicki said that currently there is nowhere in the county where an adult entertainment business could be located and that is illegal.

The change also renames three use types to catering, event center and tattoo parlor.

Tattoo parlors currently fall under adult entertainment, but now the business is in mainstream use, Rudnicki said.

If adopted, tattoo parlors would be permitted in areas zoned general commercial, limited industrial, general industrial, planned development commercial park and planned development industrial park. Parlors would require a conditional use permit in limited commercial and mixed use.

The proposed events center is defined as a facility with flexible indoor/outdoor space for activities such as weddings, meetings and other events.

Rudnicki said the name was changed in part to reflect recent applications for events centers. Event centers do not currently exist in the ordinance, he added.

Another change clarifies the definition of an accessory apartment, which under the proposed change, would require the accessory to be smaller than the primary structure.

This would allow more housing options, Rudnicki said.

Newport District Supervisor William McCarty was concerned with the changes to setbacks for adult entertainment establishments.

That needs some vetting, he said.


Proposed changes coincide with events center proposals 

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The proposed ordinance changes before the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors come around the same time as applications for events centers have come up for consideration.

The reason for the change is because that use category does not currently exist in the county’s ordinance, said interim Isle of Wight Director of Planning and Zoning Richard Rudnicki.

The latest application is from former Smithfield Foods executive Joseph W. Luter IV, who under his company, ROSF LLC,  is proposing an events center at Aberdeen farm. The application for a special use permit is scheduled to go before the Isle of Wight Planning Commission Sept. 27.

Last month, the Board approved a special use permit, with conditions, for Vernon Ray and Linda Edwards for a banquet and event facility on their property on Bowling Green Road.

A similar proposal for a zoning change to accommodate a possible events center by Accelerated Properties at Monette’s failed earlier this year.

Both the Aberdeen and Monette properties are accessed by Days Point Road. Residents living on or near that road raised stiff opposition to the Accelerated Properties application and appear to be marshaling forces against Luter’s application at Aberdeen as well, according to a letter to the editor from Lynn Faulkner, who led the charge against the event center at Monette’s.

If the ordinance changes are approved, an events center would be permitted in areas zoned limited commercial, general commercial, planned development commercial park and mixed use.

The Monettes property is made up of three parcels, one of which is zoned conditional general commercial. The other two are conditional limited industrial and rural agricultural conservation (RAC).

Because the parcels have zoning specific to the three uses identified in its zoning determination, Accelerated Properties would not have a by-right use for an event center, Rudnicki said.

In that case, the parcel zoned general commercial is permitted for two uses, general office and business support services.

Luter submitted a special use permit for the events center at Aberdeen, which is for uses that do not align with any use types in the ordinance. A conditional use permit is for uses defined by the ordinance and require conditional approval. Both types of permits must go before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for approval.

If a recommendation is made by the Planning Commission on Aberdeen farm next week, and the application goes before the Board at its Oct. 20 meeting, Luter’s special use permit could be approved regardless of the outcome of the ordinance changes, said Isle of Wight Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson.

The Board has deferred discussion on the proposed changes to an Oct. 6 work session, but no action is expected at that time.  

Aberdeen is currently zoned RAC, which would allow an events center with a conditional use permit, if the proposed ordinance is approved.  {/mprestriction}