The Westlake/Hales Ford Advisory Committee is hosting an open public information meeting Aug. 29 at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta to discuss new zoning standards intended to shape future growth in the community.
The proposed changes are a continuation of the Westlake/Hales Ford Village Plan adopted by the Franklin County Board of Supervisors in 2016. The plan included suggested revisions to zoning that will go before the supervisors later this year.
If approved, properties along Virginia 122 from Harmony School Road to Hales Ford Bridge will have new zoning. Zoning will also change for properties along Scruggs Road.
Jim Colby, a member of the Franklin County Planning Commission, as well as the Westlake Citizen Advisory Committee, said property owners and businesses along Virginia 122 should not worry about any new rules or regulations if the zoning changes. Even if the new zoning is approved, property owners will still be allowed to do everything they have done before on the property, he said.
The zoning only will impact any change to how a current or future property owner uses the property, Colby said.
This will be the first time the zoning map has changed since it was updated in 2002 and revised in 2004. The Westlake and Hales Ford areas have seen a lot of growth since that time. “This is upgrading and updating the provisions that are 15 years old,” Colby said.
Rural properties currently zoned A-1 within the Westlake and Hales Ford village overlay will be designated as rural residential. The new designation includes limits to agricultural uses and allows only one home per lot. Second homes on the property are only allowed for family members with a special-use permit.
Several businesses along Virginia 122 in Westlake and Hales Ford will be rezoned corridor business. The new designation includes allowances for a variety of non-intensive office and commercial services and requires a special-use permit for more intensive uses such as retail spaces larger than 10,000 square feet. The designation also requires landscaping and screening of materials and storage areas.
In addition to new zoning standards, signage would also change in the village area. Some of the changes include the use of temporary commercial signs that announce grand openings or other special events or promotions. Signs must be 10 feet from property lines and no larger than 32 square feet. They will be limited to no more than three weeks before the event or promotion and must be removed within two days after.
The public information meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Trinity Ecumenical Parish. More information on the proposed changes can be found at www.franklincountyva.gov/villages1/westlake.