Special Commission Meeting Agenda Item
Agenda Item Title
Discussion of text amendment to Chapter 5, Section 4, a) of the Land Development Regulations to expand the allowable uses of the AG-1 "Agriculture Residential zoning district.
Agenda Item ID
Staff Recommended Motions
Staff will advance the proposal as an ordinance if recommended by the Town Commission.
In December of 2019, the Town Commission amended the Land Development Regulations regarding agricultural uses in residential zoning districts. Ordinance 2019-19 eliminated agricultural uses in all of the residential districts except Agricultural Residential (AG-1); prior to the adoption of Ordinance 2019-19, agricultural uses were allowed in residential districts provided that the property was a minimum of five acres, now such uses are only allowed in AG-1.
Given that some of the properties zoned AG-1 are in excess of five acres, some property owners have inquired about using their property for agricultural pursuits. Others have requested putting structures on their property other than the primary residence but are presently limited to 35 percent of the primary structure (home). While the Town does not have authority to regulate buildings or the permitting of buildings associated with bona fide agricultural uses, it does have the authority to regulate the permitting of buildings which do not meet the exemption criteria.
At this time staff are requesting that the Town Commission consider changing the Land Development Regulations to allow accessory structures in AG-1 to not be limited to 35 percent of the primary structure. For instance, if a 2,000 square foot home were on a one-third acre tract zoned RS-3, the property owner would be entitled to 500 square feet of accessory structures (25 percent). However, if the same 2,000 square foot home were on a tract of land of five acres the property owner would be entitled to 700 square feet of accessory structures according to the way the code is currently written. With a far larger area of property, it seems plausible that property owners in AG-1 should be allowed more than 35 percent of the primary structure to erect additional buildings. How many structures should be allowed, and the maximum square footage allowed is open for discussion; staff has simply observed that the way the zoning regulations are currently written does not allow property owners to put much more structural square footage on their property than one residing in a subdivision.
In addition, in order for an accessory structure to be placed on the property, a primary residence must also be present on the property (with the exception of barns or pole barns associated with bona fide agricultural activities). Growth Management staff were recently approached by a property owner who wanted to store his mower and other materials used for maintaining his land in a covered building, although he does not have a primary residence on the property. Under the current code this is prohibited. Perhaps allowing buildings of this nature to be constructed in the AG-1 designation without the presence of a primary structure is another amendment that the Town Commission could consider.
Source of Funding