zMod - Proposed Amendment to Minor Modification Provisions

Minor Modifications Provisions

The minor modification process is proposed to be streamlined, to better react to changing needs or market conditions. These minor changes include things like permitting a new use, like a makerspace, in an existing shopping center. Specifically, the county proposes three changes.

  • First, it would expand the circumstances in which minor changes may be approved administratively.
  • Secondly, for issues that warrant Board consideration but do not rise to the occasion of requiring a public hearing, the county executive could bring items to the board to approve as part of the board’s meeting agenda.
  • Finally, the county would create a process whereby single issue changes, that cannot be approved administratively or as county executive items to the board, would be brought forward for public hearing with a tightly focused review and in an expedited timeframe.

The proposal strikes a balance between the need for additional flexibility to respond to changing circumstances while retaining the protections expected by the community.

Each of these changes is further discussed below.

Administratively Approved Modifications

The proposal would expand the circumstances in which minor changes may be approved administratively based upon a substantial conformance determination by the zoning administrator in four circumstances:

  • Exempt solar collectors and other innovative energy technology structures less than 10 feet in height from building height and roof top coverage limitations.

  • Exclude from the definition of gross floor area and the calculation of FAR any incidental increase in interior space created by the replacement of a façade material on an existing building.
  • Permit a change in the color of signs and typeface.
  • Increase the allowable size for minor building additions and simplify the provisions. All uses would be treated the same and could request to increase the allowable building size by 5 percent of the approved floor area up to a maximum of 2500 square feet.

Board Approved Modifications

The proposed amendment would add additional flexibility and streamlines the process by creating a new avenue for the Board of Supervisors to act on five types of requests for minor variations to proffered conditions, as Action Items with public notice, at their meetings:

  • Add or modify a use which is not specifically precluded by proffers or conditions, if the new use does not have a greater land use impact than the approved use(s).
  • Increase building height based upon final engineering or design issues, provided the resultant height does not exceed 15% of the approved height, add more than one story, exceed the maximum height of the zoning district, or materially impact adjacent properties.
  • Modify or delete active recreation uses shown on a development plan.
  • Modify proffer commitments to technologies and transportation demand measures, including commitments to alternative transportation modes such as shuttle service that are underutilized or have become ineffective as development circumstances have changed.

Amendment Process

Changes to proffers or development conditions that cannot be approved administratively by the zoning administrator or as county executive items to the board, require the submission and approval of a zoning amendment and public hearing. For single issue changes, a process has been proposed to bring these applications forward for public hearing with a tightly focused review and in an expedited timeframe. This single issue zoning amendment process has been mapped out to be completed within approximately 90 days, measured from the acceptance of the application to the public hearing before the Planning Commission.

Learn More

Schedule - Minor Modification Amendments 

BOS Development Process Committee

PC Land Use Process Committee

Authorization of concept by BOS

Citizen Working Group

Citizen/Industry Engagement

BOS Development Process Committee / Draft Text

BOS Authorization with Text

Planning Commission Public Hearing

BOS Public Hearing

May 23

May 25

June 5

June 28

June - September

July or September

September 26

October 26

November 21

Zoning Ordinance Modernization


Watch a Presentation to the Board of Supervisors on May 23, 2017



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