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At the regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Northampton, - page 11 / 36





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any criteria for the review and decision by the agent.  As framed, it does not provide a method for the governing body to review the agent’s decision, a deficiency which may be of particular concern with respect to public improvements that may be affected.  Accordingly, staff offers the following language for consideration:

§156.013 Exceptions:  Upon application to the subdivision agent, with copies of such application provided to the Board of Supervisors (the Board) and adjoining landowners, if a subdivider can establish that due to an unusual situation on his property, or that strict adherence to the general subdivision regulations would result in substantial injustice or unnecessary hardship, the subdivision agent may grant an exception to applicable subdivision regulations, so long as (i) the exception does not pertain to public improvements and (ii) the granting of the exception would not be contrary to the purpose of the underlying regulation.   An “unusual situation” must be one that is based upon the shape, topography, or other physical characteristic of the property to be subdivided. An injustice and/or hardship must be one that denies the landowner his ability to develop his property.  Exception requests involving public improvements may be granted only with the concurrence of the Board of Supervisors after public notice consistent with Virginia Code Section 15.2-2204 and upon a finding by the Board that the granting of the exception would not be contrary to the purpose of the underlying regulation.

Any exception must be authorized in writing and shall state the reasons why the exception was granted.  If an applicant, adjoining landowner, or other party (including any governmental body, commission, agency or official) is aggrieved by the subdivision agent’s decision to approve or deny an exception request, the aggrieved party may challenge the decision by filing an application to the Board of Supervisors for a de novo review of the denial or granting of the exception.  The application must be filed within 21 days of the decision and shall state all grounds upon which the challenging party contends that he is aggrieved.  On its own motion, the Board also may conduct a de novo review of a decision granting or denying an exception.   De novo reviews of the subdivision agent’s decision regarding subdivision exceptions shall be by the Board and not the Board of Zoning Appeals. If a party is aggrieved by decision of the Board of Supervisors, he may appeal that decision to the Northampton County Circuit Court.

Mr. Robert Richardson spoke in favor of the amendment.

Mr. Lee Church, a property owner in the Bloomington Estate Subdivision, said that he still does not have an answer as to whether he can subdivide his property which was purchased some years ago.

There being no further speakers, the Chairman closed the public hearing.


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