The work associated with a 2016 Botetourt County Housing Study has evolved to the point where county Planning and Zoning staff, and consultants Renaissance Planning, Stu Patz & Associates and Balzer & Associates along with a group of county stakeholders have identified six “housing opportunities areas” in the county.

Also, 15 target sites have been identified within those areas that provide “the best opportunity for meeting the county’s housing needs and goals,” according to a presentation to a joint work session with the Botetourt Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission last week.

The workshop covered other topics, too — updating the county Comprehensive Plan and considering Urban Development Area (UDA) overlay zoning district in the Gateway Crossing/Daleville/Daleville Town Center area.

Those housing opportunity areas are in Daleville, Cloverdale, Botetourt East, Troutville, Fincastle and Buchanan, with Gateway Crossing sandwiched within the county’s southern areas

County Long Range Planner Jarod Myers told the joint meeting during the process of identifying possible housing sites, the group had looked at where housing can go, opportunities for housing in those areas and how a policy tool book and guidebook could be used to facilitate development and help decide what kind of development was appropriate.

Myers said parts of the housing study are nearing completion, while other parts, such as the policy toolkit are 30 to 4 percent complete. Planning and Zoning Administrator Nicole Pendleton said the study should be complete in January or February.

Myers said when the team went about identifying potential housing opportunity areas, it considered topography and floodplain, access, utilities, development constraints, housing types suitable for the sites and density potential.

From a county regulatory standpoint, he said the county should consider regulations on cluster development; mixed use zoning; accessory dwelling units; neighborhood-scale multifamily housing; lifecycle housing such as patio homes, courtyard communities and cohousing; target growth with density bonus and the potential for transfer of development rights

Strategically, he said the county should look at branding the development, marketing and broadband connectivity.

Comprehensive Plan Update

Myers said the Planning and Zoning Department expects Phase 1 of work on the Comprehensive Plan update to start this winter.

That will include engaging the public on such questions as what growth and development issues are relevant, where should the county be growing and conserving property, and what goals should the plan set to address these issues.

He said the staff expects to have a draft of issues, goals and a growth area map in March.

Phase 2 would be seeking public input on what strategies should be used to reach goals established in the Phase 1 document; and possible changes to the county Land Use Map.

He said staff expects to have a draft of strategies and Future Land Use Map and Growth Areas in June.

The public will then be asked to weigh in on how the strategies should be prioritized and what actions are necessary to implement the strategies. A draft document would follow in August.

In the fall and winter of next year, the public, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors would be asked to review the draft plan, with adoption before the end of 2019.

UDA Overlay District

Pendleton went over plans for a proposal to use overlay zoning districts in the Urban Development Area (UDA) from Exit 150 north along the US 220 corridor to the Daleville Town Center area.

Pendleton said the county staff has been working with a stakeholder group on the proposal to include a Gateway Crossing Overlay that includes three sub-districts — Residential, Community Business and Interstate Business.

She said the stakeholders committee is not ready to proceed with sending a proposal to the Planning Commission yet, so staff will hold another meeting with that group.

Then, the supervisors and commissioners would get the recommendations in the next couple of months.

An overlay district is a type of zoning district that is applied over one or more previously established zoning districts. An overlay district establishes additional standards and criteria as part of the overlay, and those standards apply to covered properties in addition to those of the underlying zoning district.

The recommendation is also to establish Voluntary Design Guidelines that would provide design directions to developers and businesses in the corridor. The goal is for those voluntary design guidelines to establish distinct character and strengthen the community’s sense of place.

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to authorize staff to proceed with updates to the Comprehensive Plan and text amendments to the zoning ordinance for the UDA.