Proposed Amendments to the


The draft amendments listed below were received by the Board of Supervisors on 20 January 2005 and sent to the Planning Commission. The PC will receive them at their regular meeting on 27 January. They must schedule a public hearing on the proposal. Typically this hearing is held jointly with the BOS but it does not have to be done that way. The BOS could decide to hold a separate hearing after receiving the planners’ recommendation.

Proposed Change to §701.01
Conditional Height Regulation
Highland County Zoning Ordinance

Delete existing §§701.01-1, 701.01-2 and 701.01-3
Replace with the following:

§701.01-1.   Structures exceeding the heights specified in the Zoning Schedule, Table 1, may be permitted by conditional use permits issued by the Governing Body.
[Table 1 limits all structures in all zones to 35 feet except for accessory buildings in agricultural zones, which may be up to 60 feet. This would allow construction of a silo, for example, as a use by right. The “Governing Body” refers to the Board of Supervisors unless the structure would be within the town limits of Monterey, in which case it would be the Town Council.]

§701.01-2.   The Governing Body may require fire safety measures or cross section drawings or other illustrations of the physical impact the structure will have upon the area as part of the condtional use permit application.

§701.01-3.   The Governing Body, or the Highland County Zoning Administrator, may require additional information from an applicant at the time of the application, or at any time during the condtional use permit application process.

§701.01-4.   As a condition of any conditional use permit granted under this section, the applicant shall state under oath that he has complied with all applicable federal and state standards, laws and regulations set forth by any agencies with the authority to regulate the proposed structure or facility.

§701.01-5.   As a condition of any conditional use permit granted under this section, the applicant agrees to hold harmless the County of Highland, the Governing Body, and its agents and employees from any and all liability arising as a consequence of the development, construction, maintenance, or removal of the proposed structure.

[I would urge adding one more section stating that the maximum height that will be permitted for any structure in any zone is 200 feet. One of the most egregious features of a tall structure is the flashing red aircraft warning light that is required by the FAA if the structure exceeds 200 feet in height. This addition would allow radio towers, cell-phone towers, and small-scale wind turbines, among other things, but it would preclude the involvement of the FAA and the proliferation of flashing red lights in the county.]

Dennis Coppedge of Madison County brought to my attention the fact that the FAA will require some towers less than 200 feet tall to carry warning lights, white strobe during the day and flashing red at night, depending on local circumstances. Therefore, the amendment should state that no structure will be permitted for which the FAA requires aircraft warning lights.

John R. Sweet, Mustoe, VA, 24 January 2005