Friday, November 18, 2011

RE: the China zoning provision: l hope we have just begun to fight in Yorktown!!

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your quick response. Unfortunately, the wording of this particular section leads the reader to understand that one cannot do anything on their property unless it is already approved by York County’s zoning administrator. So, in essence, we must go to York County with every little thing we plan to do and double check we’re specifically allowed to do it in addition to making sure we’re not doing something prohibited – sounds a bit “parental” to me. Is there a simple posted list of these approved and prohibited items or are we to dig through the entire Zoning Ordinance book before we do anything on our own property? Since this wording is going back to what has been in the code since the 1980’s, I will hope that the current and future administrations will err on the side of freedom regarding this personal property rights issue. However, with this wording, there is an open door to oppressive review which worries me for the exact reason you state: “…depending on how you interpret the zoning code…” Who controls the interpretations?


I’ll have to do more research about Virginia’s Dillon Rule to fully understand its implications in this matter. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond with your explanation. I look forward to future discussions after the holidays to understand the full extent of this portion of the code and its costs. As always, my concern is that citizens’ personal property rights are protected and least restrictive. I applaud the changes the Board made Wednesday evening regarding expansion of rights to own chickens on personal property – a positive step in the right direction.


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

All the best,



From: Thomas Shepperd []
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 1:29 PM
To: 'Terry & Lynda Fairman'
Cc:; 'Brenda P.';;; 'Tom Norment'; Hrichak, George Sr.; Noll, Sheila S.; Walt Zaremba; Wiggins, Don
Subject: RE: the China zoning provision: l hope we have just begun to fight in Yorktown!!




You are right.  The changes made at the public meeting  reset us back to pre-SB1190 and actually enhanced property rights.  There were some clarifications and administrative changes, which I do not consider restrictive.  I believe Greg is referring to the issue of “inclusive” vs. “exclusive” zoning, which  was not considered as part of the sponsored changes sent to the Planning Commission.  The zoning code for York County remains “inclusive” and has served us well since the 1980’s.  The “inclusive” aspect of our zoning code is very common in Virginia.  I do not know of a single county that uses only the “exclusive” approach, which I believe is an extension of the state’s Dillon Rule.  This is something our legislators can take on.   I do not favor the Dillon Rule.


I’ve thought about the issue for years and have come to believe that there is not a significant difference between the “inclusive” and “exclusive” approach to zoning.  Both approaches make for great political discussion but do nothing to significantly improve property rights.  Today, depending on how you interpret the zoning code, we have some mix of the two approaches.  Agriculture is prime example.   In the end, both approaches arrive at the same point, which essentially is a restrictions on land use.   I think that if we were to move to an “exclusive” approach, the cost and size of government might  increase, which is also something I do not favor, and we will see more grandfathering of land use.   I’ll be very glad to discuss this with you after the holidays.




Tom Shepperd

District 5 Representative

York County Board of Supervisors


Home (757) 868-8591

Mobile (757) 604-3079


From: Terry & Lynda Fairman []
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 12:32 PM
To: 'Thomas Shepperd'
Cc:; 'Brenda P.';;; 'Tom Norment'
Subject: RE: the China zoning provision: l hope we have just begun to fight in Yorktown!!
Importance: High


Tom – is this correct? I thought the only items that passed were related to expanding authorization of chickens on private property not reducing private property rights.


I thought this was one of the items tabled until the March 20 review after the General Assembly session. I mentioned this topic in particular in my 3 minute speech at the public hearing and that it needed to be voted down. Quite honestly, tabling the BOS control over citizens’ use of aquaculture and agriculture on their private property based on whether the 2012 General Assembly addresses it seems a bit like extortion to me – leaving it hanging over our heads like the proverbial Sword of Damocles, in essence, threatening the citizens over what the General Assembly does.  The YC BOS wants to prohibit the state from controlling something by threatening its own local citizens with extensive restrictions and oppressive regulation. How is that being of service to the citizens who hired you as their representatives?


If the information below is correct, this is one of the most egregious items ever passed to control citizens and their property rights and needs to be repealed immediately! This is far beyond what any HOA regulates, which you voiced your opinion against at the Public Forum before the vote. How does YC plan to enforce this – a backyard police force? Where will the funding come for those inspectors…or will it rely on snooping neighbors? How does York County plan to inform citizens they can’t do anything you don’t first authorize on their personal property?  Since when have the citizens elected their Supervisors into a parental oversight role? How do you think the citizens will react when this hits the media, if true? I have a strong feeling the concerned citizen turn-out of 150+ with 80+ signed up to speak Wednesday evening that ran from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am will be seen as small compared to the turn-out over this item, if it is now part of the official YC Zoning Ordinance.


I look forward to hearing from you about this and hope this portion of the zoning ordinance was not passed.

Thanks so much for your quick response,




Lynda Fairman



From: []
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 10:13 AM
Subject: the China zoning provision: l hope we have just begun to fight in Yorktown!!


Dear Believers in Freedom,

Our battle on the Zoning Ordinance in York County is NOT over.

Last Wednesday night was very complicated and convoluted... Brenda Pogge counted 49 changes being proposed. Plus the BoS did not kill the new restrictions... they tabled them....

But l just got confirmation that the most far reaching, anti-property rights, anti-freedom provision in the history of York County was passed under the cloud of confusion and semi-euphoria based on our little partial victory.


Look what passed?


The China zoning provision:


In the event a particular use is not listed in this chapter as a permitted use, a specially permitted use, or an administratively permitted use, and such use is not listed in section 24.1-307 as a prohibited use and is not prohibited by law, then such use shall not be permitted unless the zoning administrator shall determine whether a materially similar use exists in this chapter.

It is very clear....

If you want to do something on your property, that is not currently written in the Zoning Ordinance, & the Zoning Administrator(Zoning Czar) does not find a similar use in the Zoning Ordinance, then YOU CANNOT DO IT !!!

How else can this be interpreted?



For those of you not living in York County, can you see if you have a similarly worded "China" provision in your Zoning Code?


Greg Garrett
offices in Hpt Rds from Chesapeake to Williamsburg
cell # 757-879-1504

Please let me know who needs to buy or sell a house

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