Upper Eno Watershed Critical Area Amendments
What's Being Proposed?:
At the direction of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, Orange County Planning staff is proposing amendments to the:
- Orange County Zoning Ordinance and Atlas
- Orange County 2030 Comprehensive Plan – Land Use Element Text and Map (Chapter 5)
These amendments are being proposed to implement a recommendation in the Efland-Mebane Small Area Plan which calls for re-evaluating the Critical Area boundary in the vicinity of Seven Mile Creek. More specific information.....
Proposed Text Amendments:
The link below is to the proposed text amendments in strike-through/underline (“Track Changes”) format. Text that is not struck-through or underlined is existing text in the Zoning Ordinance or Comprehensive Plan.
The maps in the links below depict the 1994 Watershed Critical Area (the boundary currently in effect) and the proposed Watershed Critical Area boundary. Areas proposed for removal from or inclusion into the Critical Area boundary are also shown. The third map depicts State-required Critical Areas in the Upper Eno watershed and the proposed County-designated Critical Areas.
How Does this Proposal Affect My Property?:
The Orange County Zoning Ordinance (Section 6.23) applies certain regulations such as density and impervious surface area limits based upon the watershed in which a property is located and its protection designation (Unprotected, Protected, or Critical Area). [Note: the Upper Eno watershed has only “Protected” or “Critical Area” designations].
The Table of Zoning Ordinance Section 6.23 Requirements for Watershed Protection Overlay Districts shows the various regulations that apply to the Upper Eno “Protected” and “Critical Area” designations. The specific effect of the proposed changes on your property depends on whether your property will be designated as "Protected" or "Critical Area". If you received a letter.....
Public Information Meeting:
An “open house” style Public Information Meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 to provide interested persons the opportunity to speak with Planning staff members in an informal setting about the proposal to amend the Upper Eno Watershed Critical Area boundary. The Public Information Meeting will be held in the new County Office Building at 131 West Margaret Lane in Hillsborough in the Lower Level Conference Room from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. A presentation will be made at 5:30p.m.. Free parking for people conducting County business is available in front of the building and in spaces 40 through 80 of the adjacent parking deck. Map of West Campus Parking
A joint public hearing of the Orange County Board of Commissioners and Planning Board will be held at the Central Orange Senior Center, 103 Meadowlands Drive, Hillsborough, North Carolina, on Monday, February 22, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of giving all interested citizens an opportunity to speak for or against the proposed amendments.
Updates - February 18, 2010
Updates - February 23, 2010
Updates - February 25, 2010
In order to address concerns regarding existing smaller sized lots and impervious surface limits, Planning staff is recommending amendments to the appropriate section of the Zoning Ordinance. The link below is to the section of the Ordinance dealing with impervious surface and the suggested amendments are in "track changes" format (changes are on pages 3 and 5 of the document). The proposal is to allow a greater percentage of impervious surface on a sliding scale for existing lots smaller than 5 acres.
What's Being Proposed? (continued):
Specifically, amendments are being proposed to Section 4.2.27 (Watershed Protection Overlay Districts) and Article 22 (Definitions) of the Zoning Ordinance. The purpose of the amendments is to:
- Revise the Watershed Protection Overlay Districts pertaining to “Critical Area”.
- Revise and add definitions pertaining to watersheds, critical area, and water supply reservoirs.
- Use best available technology to map written descriptions of Watershed Critical Areas.
- Correct general typographical errors in Section 4.2.27.
Planning staff is suggesting that County-designated Critical Areas be based on:
- Reservoir classes
- Stream orders
- Distances to Class I reservoirs (reservoirs in which a water supply intake is located)
State-required protection of Class I reservoirs remains unchanged. The proposed revised criteria in Section 4.2.27 will change existing boundaries of Critical Areas in the Upper Eno watershed. Critical Area boundaries in Cane Creek watershed and University Lake watershed are scheduled to be amended later this year.
The official Zoning Atlas and Comprehensive Plan Land Use Element Map are proposed to be amended to reflect the new overlay district boundaries. If the changes are adopted, some properties will be removed from the Critical Area designation and will be placed into the “Protected” designation; other properties will be removed from the “Protected” designation and placed in the “Critical Area” designation. Many properties currently designated as Critical Area will remain in the Critical Area designation.
A Text Amendment to Chapter 5: Land Use Element of the Orange County 2030 Comprehensive Plan is also being proposed to revise existing Conservation Land Use Categories and add additional Categories/Definitions to be consistent with the changes proposed for water supply watersheds, reservoirs, and critical area in the Zoning Ordinance.
How Does this Proposal Affect My Property?(continued):
If you received a letter stating that your property is proposed to be removed from the Watershed Critical Area designation, your property designation will be changed from “Critical Area” to “Protected” and the watershed zoning regulations to be applied to your property in the future are in the “Upper Eno ‘Protected’” column.
If you received a letter stating your property is proposed to be included in a Watershed Critical Area, your property designation will be changed from “Protected” to “Critical Area” and the watershed zoning regulations to be applied to your property in the future are in the “Upper Eno ‘Critical Area’” column.