Motor Vehicle Zoning Text Amendment
Update 6/27/15: This amendment was approved by the Prince William BOCS in 2014.
This amendment is an effort to loosen the county restrictions concerning working on vehicles. These changes would primarily affect the mid-county area, which is mostly designated SRR and A-1.
MIDCO has some concerns about the proposed new language. It appears that an unintended consequence is that one could now legally operate, on residential property, a three-person auto repair shop at a minimum, with a larger shop possible if more relatives of the property owner were involved. The number of vehicles on the subject property is unlimited under the new language, except for "inoperative" vehicles. Commerce can be easily hidden with cash transactions or barter, opening the door to regular repair work. Another issue is that without a firm definition of "work on," vehicles could be operated and repaired outside a building and much closer to the property line than 50 feet. It seems that the new language would set up a situation that would be hard to oversee and relatively easy to exploit.
We would strongly suggest that additional language be introduced by county staff to limit the allowed shop size and/or number of vehicles being worked on at any one time or introduce other protections to ameliorate the issues identified above.
The Zoning Text language with the new proposed language in red:
2. Motor Vehicle Repair:
Repair or service of motor vehicles in agricultural districts on lots less than ten (10) three (3) acres in size or in any residential district or residential portion of a planned development district shall be limited to permitted vehicles titled and registered to the owner and/or occupant or a member of the immediate family of the owner or occupant of the dwelling unit where service or repairs are taking place. For purposes of this subsection, a member of the immediate family is defined as any person who is naturally or legally defined offspring, spouse, sibling, grandchild, grandparent or parent of the owner/occupant. On agricultural and semi-rural lots of three (3) acres or larger, a maximum of two (2) unrelated acquaintances at any one time, in addition to the owner or occupant, or member of the immediate family of the owner or occupant, may work on their own vehicles as a hobby, within an entirely enclosed accessory building, which shall be setback a minimum of fifty (50) feet from the nearest property line.. The storage and maximum number of inoperable vehicles shall conform to the requirements of Sec. 32-250.61.4. All material and equipment associated with such work must be stored inside or be fully screened from view from abutting property and streets. No commercial motor vehicle repair, restoration, service or painting is allowed.