Neighborhood Commercial

Area Requirements
  • Located in the PSA, serving residents of the surrounding neighborhoods in the immediate area and having only a limited impact on nearby development.
  • Location criteria for commercial uses are small sites; access to collector or arterial streets, preferably at intersections with local or other collector arterial roads; public water and sewer service; environmental features such as soils and topography suitable for compact development; and adequate buffering by physical features or adjacent uses to protect nearby residential development and preserve the natural and wooded character of the County.
Recommended Intensity
The total building area within any area designated Neighborhood Commercial should generally be no more than 40,000 square feet in order to retain a small-scale neighborhood character.

Recommended Floor Area Ratio range: no minimum - 0.2

Recommended Uses
Neighborhood scale commercial, professional and office uses such as individual medical offices, branch banks, small service establishments, day care centers, churches, convenience stores with limited hours of operation, small restaurants, and smaller public facilities. Examples of uses which are considered unacceptable include fast-food restaurants, 24-hour convenience stores, and gas stations.

  • Locate proposed commercial and industrial developments adjacent to compatible uses (public or other similar uses, etc.). Where a commercial or industrial development desires a location near a sensitive area, the site should be designed so that transitional uses such as offices and/or buffers are located between conflicting uses. During such evaluation, emphasis would be placed on the provision of open space; protection of the environment and historical and archaeological resources; preservation of farm and forestal lands, agricultural structures, and rural and scenic vistas; natural features; adjoining land uses; capacities of public facilities and services; the quality and effectiveness of pedestrian circulation systems and facilities; and the ability to meet the public needs of the development.
  • Commercial uses, and particularly Neighborhood Commercial areas, will have a limited impact on adjacent residential areas especially in terms of visible parking areas, lighting, signage, traffic, odor, noise, and hours of operation.
  • Acceptable Neighborhood Commercial uses should be compatible with surrounding or planned residential development in terms of scale, bulk, size, building design, materials, and color, and should provide strong, safe, and convenient pedestrian access to nearby residential neighborhoods and adjacent sites.
  • For Neighborhood and Community Commercial parcels, where existing zoning permits development of a parcel, by right or by Special Use Permit, which would exceed the collective square footage limit for a particular area, measures should be taken where possible to ensure that the development proposal is otherwise in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.
  • For Limited Industry areas, dust, noise, odor, and other adverse environmental effects (but not size) are primary considerations for determining whether land uses are acceptable in these areas.
  • Each Community Commercial area should be clearly separated from other Community Commercial areas to retain the small town and rural character of the County, provide a sense of place, and promote transportation mobility.
  • Mitigate objectionable aspects of commercial or industrial uses through an approach including performance standards, buffering, and special setback regulations.
Public Services, Utilities & Adequacy of Infrastructure
Permit the location of new uses only where public services, utilities, and facilities are adequate to support such uses. The need for public services (police, fire, education, recreation, etc.) and facilities generated by a development should be met or mitigated by that development. Means to address public service needs include proffers involving cash, construction, project phasing, uses, density, intensity, dedication, facility construction, and cost sharing.

Timing and intensity of development is controlled by the maintenance of an acceptable level of service of roads and other public services, the availability and capacity of public utilities, the availability of skilled labor for Industrial uses, growth of County population adequate to provide a market for community-scale business activity, and growth of nearby population to provide adequate market support for limited business activity.

Environmental Protection
Protect environmentally sensitive resources including high-ranking Natural Areas and significant natural heritage resources, the Powhatan Creek watershed, historic and archaeological resources, designated CCCs and CCAs, and other sensitive resources by locating conflicting uses away from such resources and utilizing design features, including building and site design, buffers, and screening to adequately protect the resource.

Protect land designated as conservation areas on development plans by perpetual conservation easement held jointly by James City County and a qualifying second party or dedicated to a land trust.

Minimize the impact of development proposals on overall mobility, especially on major roads by limiting access points and providing internal, on-site collector and local roads, side street access, and joint entrances. When developing large master planned communities, provide new public collector and arterial roads that will mitigate traffic impacts on existing public collector and arterial roads. Provide for safe, convenient, and inviting bicycle, pedestrian, and greenway connections to adjacent properties and developments in order to minimize such impacts and to provide adequate access between residential and nonresidential activity centers and among residential neighborhoods. Vehicular connections to adjacent properties and developments should also be provided wherever possible in order to maximize the efficiency of the entire street network. Include bikeways and/or pedestrian facilities within and between major developments and among residential neighborhoods. Integrate sidewalks into the design of streets so that pedestrian movement is safe, comfortable, and convenient. Pedestrian activity should be given an equal priority to motor vehicle activity.

Industrial and commercial areas should be planned and located to avoid traffic through residential and agricultural areas except in special circumstances where residential and nonresidential areas are both part of an overall master plan and special measures are taken to ensure that the residential or agricultural uses are adequately protected. Industrial uses to be located on Rural Lands may be permitted more than 1-half mile from such transportation facilities where such a location is essential to the use (i.e., resource related such as a borrow pit) and direct access to an adequate public road is provided.

Provide for ultimate future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvement needs and new road locations through the reservation of adequate right-of-way and by designing and constructing roads, drainage improvements, and utilities in a manner that accommodates future road, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements. Require facilities to support bus and transit services in tourist areas, Moderate Density Residential areas, activity/employment centers, and at transit dependent uses.

Provide landscaped areas and trees along public roads and property lines, and develop sites in a manner that retains or enhances the natural, wooded character of the County.

The following are the specific recommendations for 2 of the County’s Neighborhood Commercial areas:

Jamestown/Sandy Bay Road Area
Several parcels located at or near the intersection of Jamestown Road and Sandy Bay Road were re-designated from Low Density Residential to Neighborhood Commercial during the 1997 Comprehensive Plan update. This land use designation sought to recognize existing uses, zoning, and the future development of adjacent parcels while limiting negative impacts on the traffic carrying capacity of Jamestown Road. Additional commercial development beyond the boundaries of the proposed Neighborhood Commercial designation would further impede traffic flow along this road.

The principal suggested uses for the Jamestown Road Neighborhood Commercial area are very limited commercial uses. Future development is to be of a type and nature that is consistent with the Neighborhood Commercial designation. In addition, future development will consist only of low traffic generating uses due to the limited road capacity on Jamestown Road; the extent of parking will be minimal; uses will provide service to local, nearby neighborhoods, as opposed to the wider community; the site will develop as a pedestrian-oriented environment with a design compatible with nearby residential areas; a master development plan for the full area is encouraged; and driveways will be limited. There is to be full adherence to the County’s Community Character Corridor policy and Land Use Development Standards along the entire frontage of all properties along Jamestown Road.

Prime Outlets Area
The area in and around the Prime Outlets Mall was re-designated from Low Density Residential to Community Commercial during the 1997 Comprehensive Plan update. These parcels are currently zoned B-1 and include Prime Outlets Mall, Comfort Inn, Ewell Station Shopping Center, and the former Jehovah’s Witness Church. The surrounding property is primarily zoned R-2 with some M-1 across Richmond Road (Route 60 West) and some B-1 to the south.

Re-designation of this area is in recognition of deliberate decisions of the Board of Supervisors to zone the area as commercial and of subsequent commercial development of the property. This area is specifically defined as Prime Outlets and the church property to the north, Richmond Road (Route 60 West) to the east, Olde Towne Road to the south, and Prime Outlets to the west. The Community Commercial designation of this area is not intended in any way to promote or accommodate an extension of a strip commercial development beyond these boundaries.