Posted November 13, 2023
The Granville County Board of Commissioners will consider an update to the Granville County Land Development Code (LDC) during the regular meeting scheduled for Monday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Granville County Convention and Expo Center (4185 US Highway 15, Oxford). This will be the continuation of a public hearing that began on October 16 and was eventually rescheduled to a later date for Planning and Zoning staff to present additional details and clarifications to the Board of Commissioners. The changes being considered would affect rural cluster subdivisions; a type of major subdivision allowed in the Granville County LDC.
Read below for answers to frequently asked questions about the changes being considered:
Q: What is a rural cluster subdivision?
A: This special subdivision designation allows flexibility for development to “cluster” homes on smaller lots to preserve larger open space areas, especially in parts of the county where there is no access to municipal water and sewer. The requirement that the developer include additional open green space in the proposed site plan is to incentivize the protection of environmentally sensitive areas. In 2022, Granville County added an additional requirement to preserve more land in these proposed developments for recreational use.
Q: What are the current cluster subdivision minimum requirements in the Granville County LDC?
A: Lot size of 12,000 square feet, lot width of 60 feet, and setbacks of 25 feet from the street, 7.5 feet from the side, and 25 feet from the rear.
Q: What would be the new minimum requirements?
A: Increase the minimum lot size to 40,000 square feet, require a minimum lot width of 85 feet per lot, and require the minimum setbacks to be 50 feet from the street, 15 feet from the side, and 25 feet from the rear. Rear setbacks are not proposed to change.
Q: What types of development will be affected by these proposed changes?
A: The proposed changes to the Granville County LDC would affect the design and approval specifications for new proposed major subdivisions in areas of Granville County outside of the Town of Butner, City of Creedmoor, City of Oxford, Town of Stem, Town of Stovall, and their extra-territorial planning and zoning jurisdictions.
Q: What is a major subdivision?
A: A major subdivision contains one or more of the following: ten or more lots, one or more road, public or community water or sewer system. Family subdivisions are excluded from the “major subdivision” designation.
Q: When did Granville County begin allowing rural cluster subdivisions?
A: 2019. This was a result of a strategy adopted by Granville County during the 2018 comprehensive planning process. Since 2019, Granville County has approved 16 major subdivisions, all of which have been rural cluster subdivisions. 6 of those approved subdivisions included plans for a community well.
Q: Why is this change being proposed?
A: Granville County Board of Commissioners, Granville County Planning Board, and the Granville County Planning and Zoning Department have noted that developers proposing rural cluster subdivisions in Granville County have not always built in areas with environmentally sensitive land that are higher priority for preservation. These developments have utilized the flexible requirements allowed for rural cluster subdivisions to build dense development in rural areas without municipal water and sewer service, leading to a higher likelihood that the developer would also install a community well. The changes proposed to the Granville County LDC are aimed at maintaining rural cluster subdivisions as an option for residential development in Granville County while also ensuring that developers place these specially designated subdivision types in appropriate settings to best serve the needs of future and existing residents.
Q: How can I find additional information on this topic?
A: Contact the Granville County Planning and Zoning Department at 919-603-1331 or attend the November 20 meeting of the Board of Commissioners where the public will see a full presentation from county staff and be given the opportunity to provide comments to the Board of Commissioners to consider when deliberating this proposed change.