Petition to Object to Dinwiddie County proposed legislation
http://www.dinwiddieva.us/DocumentCenter/View/8865/BOS-Public-Notice-for-June-15-2021-Mtg-002.Per the notice above, the Dinwiddie County Legislative Officials are voting on changes to the Noise Ordinance, Agritourism Code, Special Events Code, and Zoning Definitions on June 15, 2021. Many changes will pose a substantial impact on rural residents of the county, especially those residential communities located near an agritourism site or sizeable rural lots that may be entitled to host an "event facility" when not permissible by existing zoning.
By signing we affirm we oppose the following proposed changes:
a. Noise Ordinance 15-1 and 15-1.5- This change will allow a more permissive noise ordinance to agritourism sites or event centers than their surrounding residential areas. We also oppose the proposal to allow amplified music till 1130 PM on weekends and 1030 PM weekdays, whether it is a permitted use or as authorized by a conditional use permit or special events permit. Any agritourism or event facility should have a more restrictive noise in order to preserve the expectation of a living in a rural community and we recommend a 9 PM weekdays and 1030 PM on weekends and holidays to cease amplified music. There are additional noises associated with tear down and departures that should be factored into when amplified noise should cease. Further the American Medical Association has determined that exposure to 82 decibel noise presents a health hazard. We support a noise decibel maximum level of 70 decibels, which is an establish level that does not adversely affect an individuals health. Officials need to also consider impacts of agritourism and potential unfettered "pop up" event facilities and their impact on health, safety and welfare of special needs children;
b. Agritourism Code Chap 22 Sections 22-262.1 through 22-262.7. This change establishes unlimited events for less than 100 people and a limit of 26 days of public and private events of over 100 and up to 250 people per agritourism or other special permitted event. The number of events per day are not limited so a site could have 3 events and 750 attending over the day. We oppose the number of events and the ability to host 250 people. We recommend 26 events per year vice 26 days to minimize the substantial impacts on the public as a whole if events are stacked. Each site must be assessed separately and assigned a maximum attendance, hours of operation, and activities based on the impact of the site location on the local community, with special regard to the health, safety, welfare and the environmental impacts of wastewater requirements;
c. Special Events Section 3-16 to 3-41. This again sets a 250 person requirement for a Special Permit and it does not require the individual or business to inform the public of any planned events or activities. We oppose the proposed code and request that any special event permit have a requirement for the applicant to identify and notify adjacent residences of their intention to hold the event and include the number of participants, the date(s), the hours of operation and the nature of the activity requiring the permit. Some members of the public work shifts or have special needs that would adversely affect their health and should have an avenue to inform the county administrator of these issues. As the code changes are broadly disbursed and not very succinct on impacts, we seek public hearing that allows further explanation and Q&A before any decisions are made about changes to Special Events.
d. Zoning Definitions Sec 22-1. Event Facility. The definition of an event center in the proposed ordinance is far too broad. It states that "the event center may be a building, tent, uncovered outdoor gathering space or combination thereof. We oppose an event center as being defined essentially as any nebulous space. As written, anywhere could be determined to be an uncovered gathering space. An event facility should be an established location with dedicated parking, road network, fire, septic and sewage, and an established occupancy maximum. An outdoor "gathering" space is an open book for event facilities that could pose significant impacts to surrounding lots due to inadequate supporting infrastructure.