Natural Resources Planner
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Since its establishment by the Virginia General Assembly in 1836, Clarke County has valued its land and its people. One of the hallmarks of government in Clarke County is its effort to conserve the County’s agricultural character and natural environment.
In 1960, the first elements of the Zoning Ordinance were established. In 1980, the County implemented a unique form of zoning regulation for its rural areas by assigning a limited number of “Dwelling Unit Rights” to every parcel. In 1992, the County and the Town of Berryville, adopted site specific land use regulations to provide for additional residential, commercial, and light industrial uses in an annexation area that will double the area of the Town.
The twin objectives of these actions are to retain land for agricultural use and to concentrate homes, services, and jobs. Keeping land for agriculture is key to maintaining its important role in the local economy as well as preserving the natural character the County has enjoyed since its inception. Concentrating development activities allows for the most efficient use of public facilities and services including, roads, schools, and water and sewer service.
It is the responsibility of this Department to administer and coordinate the land use policies of the County as stated in its Comprehensive Plan and implemented in its Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance. In addition, the County has standards for wells and drain fields to further protect the environment. A key tool in the efforts of the Planning Department is the Geographic Information System whereby all of the physical attributes of the County are assembled to help understand the interrelationship of these attributes.