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Environmentally Sensitive Areas ZOTA

Council Unanimously Passes Environmentally Sensitive Areas ZOTA

We are pleased to report that on July 7, 2016, the Council unanimously voted to adopt the Environmentally Sensitive Areas ZOTA. This ZOTA strengthens oversight by the Board of Adjustment for the protection of environmentally sensitive areas (as defined under the Subdivision Regulations). In 2014, the Planning Commission created an ad hoc committee to study alternatives to protect our environmentally sensitive areas. Fayette Alliance served on the ad hoc committee, which ultimately recommended the following amendments to the Zoning Ordinance:

1. When reviewing a conditional use application, the Board of Adjustment shall thoroughly address potential impacts to any identified environmentally sensitive area (ESA), geologic hazard area (GHA) (as defined and further regulated under the Subdivision Regulations), and Rural Service Area prime soils as well as any other resources of special concern located on the property.
2. Based upon the specific circumstances, the Board may require intermediate reviews and verifications during pre-constructive, active construction and post-construction to ensure protection during all phases of a project.
3. For ESAs located in the Rural Service Area, the Board may require that non-habitable structures and facilities, natural feature modifications, paving installation in conjunction with a conditional use permit be removed and/or restored if the conditional use ceases operation.

We want to thank everyone involved in creating this important ZOTA, including the Council, Planning Commission, ad hoc Committee, and planning staff.