The Town Council and the Planning Commission of the Town of Purcellville will conduct a VIRTUAL joint public hearing on TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2021, at 7:00 PM for
the purpose of receiving comments on, considering, and possibly voting on Ordinance 21-02-01, which contains the following amendments to the Town of Purcellville
Zoning Ordinance (directions on how to participate in the hearing are located at the end of this notice):
ZTA21-01 – Definition of “Building Height” & ZTA21-02 – Building Height Calculations: These proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance would delete the
definition of “Building Height” from Article 15 (“Definitions”) in its entirety, and would relocate the substance of this definition, which prescribes the method for measuring the
height of buildings and structures, to Article 6 (“Supplementary Regulations”), Section 4 (“Supplementary Height, Area, and Bulk Regulations”), by adding a new Subsection
4.10, called “Building Height Calculations.”
These proposed amendments would also amend the methodology by which the height of buildings and structures is calculated, by deleting the existing height calculation
methodology currently located in Article 15 (“Definitions”) and replacing it with a revised height calculation methodology to be located in the new Subsection 4.10, of Article
6. The height calculation methodology being deleted is shown below in strikethrough text, and the revised methodology being proposed is shown below in underlined text:
Article 15: “Building, Height of: The vertical distance from the average finished grade or from the average level of the finished grade at the front building line,
if higher, to the highest point of the coping of a flat roof, or the deck line or highest point of coping or parapet of a mansard roof, or to the mean height level
between eaves and ridge for gable, hip, shed, and gambrel roofs. When the highest wall of a building with a shed roof is within 35 feet of a street, the height of
such building shall be measured to the highest point of coping or parapet.”
Article 6: “4.10. Building Height Calculations. Building height shall be the vertical distance of a building as measured from the “average finished grade” along
the front façade of a building, to the: (i) midpoint between eaves and the ridge of a gable or hip roof; (ii) midpoint of the uppermost slope of a gambrel roof; (iii)
deck line of a mansard roof; and (iv) highest point of a flat roof. If the eaves of a gable or hip roof are uneven, then the height is measured to the average of the
midpoints between each of the eaves and the ridge of the highest roof line. If a building has two front façades, then average finished grade shall be measured
along the façade fronting the street from which the property derives its street address.
The “average finished grade” shall be the average ground level at the point where the ground and building meet. Average finished grade shall be calculated by
finding the average of the elevation points of the finished grade, taken at evenly spaced intervals of approximately 5 feet along the length of the front building
façade. Average finished grade calculations shall not include: (i) the lower elevation of window wells that are not more than 10 feet in width along the wall of
the building and extend from the building no more than 4 feet, or (ii) areaways (below-grade walled areas designed to allow light to enter a below-grade space)
with a width less than 15 feet. Finished grades that are established with a retaining wall must be measured at a distance from the building sufficient to include
the higher or lower grade elevation toward the average grade calculation. The images below are intended to assist with the interpretation of this ordinance.”
[referenced images are omitted from this advertisement]
ZTA21-03 – C-4 Central Commercial Zoning District - Height Standards. This proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance would place new restrictions and
regulations on the height of buildings and structures located in the C-4 Zoning District. The C-4 Zoning District covers a substantial portion of “downtown” Purcellville,
including portions of Hatcher Avenue, S. 20th Street, N. 21st Street, S. Nursery Avenue, Main Street, N. Brewster Lane and entirety of E. Cornwell Lane. The entirety of the
C-4 Zoning District is depicted on the attached location map, for reference. Specifically, the proposed amendment would amend Zoning Ordinance Article 4, section
9.8 (“Height Standards”) to reduce the maximum height of buildings that may be constructed as a matter of right, from 3 stories and 45 feet, to 2 stories and 35 feet. The
proposed amendment would allow building and structure heights to exceed 2 stories and 35 feet, so long as a Special Use Permit (“SUP”) is first obtained from the Town
Council, in accordance with Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance, as follows: (a) a building may be constructed up to 3 stories and 45 feet if an SUP is obtained; (b) a publicly
owned building or place of worship may be constructed up to 3 stories and 60 feet if an SUP is obtained; and (c) architectural building features such as church spires,
belfries, cupolas, chimneys, and flues may exceed 2 stories and 35 feet if an SUP is obtained. In addition, the proposed amendment would place new, more restrictive
height limits on the maximum heights of flag poles, monuments, and television antennas.
ZTA21-04 – Destruction of nonconformities. This proposed amendment to Article 5, Section 5 (“Destruction of nonconformities”) of the Zoning Ordinance would allow
existing buildings that were lawfully constructed, but that exceed the new height restrictions in the C-4 Zoning District (or violate some other provision of the Zoning
Ordinance that was enacted after an existing building was lawfully constructed), to be restored to their nonconforming condition if they were to be damaged or destroyed
by fire, natural disaster, or act of God, provided that the owner of such building complied with all other requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. This proposed amendment
would amend Zoning Ordinance Article 5, Section 5 by deleting the strikethrough text and adding the underlined text as follows:
The owner of any residential or commercial building damaged or destroyed by a fire, natural disaster or other act of God shall be permitted to repair, rebuild, or
replace such building to its original nonconforming condition, or, at the option of the owner, to some condition that eliminates or reduces eliminate or reduce
the nonconforming features to the extent possible, without the need to obtain a variance as provided in § 15.2-2310 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.
If such building is damaged greater than 50 percent and cannot be repaired, rebuilt or replaced except to restore it to its original nonconforming condition, the
owner shall have the right to do so. The owner shall apply for a zoning permit for such restoration. Any work done to repair, rebuild or replace such building
shall be in compliance with the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code, and any work done to repair, rebuild or replace such building shall be in
compliance with the provisions of Article 12: Floodplain Overlay District, if applicable. Unless such building is repaired, rebuilt or replaced within two years of
the date of the natural disaster or other act of God, such building shall only be repaired, rebuilt or replaced in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.
However, if the nonconforming building is in an area under a federal disaster declaration and the building has been damaged or destroyed as a direct result
of conditions that gave rise to the declaration, then the property owner shall have an additional two years for the building to be repaired, rebuilt or replaced
as otherwise provided in this paragraph. For purposes of this section, “act of God” shall include any natural disaster or phenomena including a hurricane,
tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake or fire caused by lightning or wildfire. For purposes of this section, owners of
property damaged by an accidental fire have the same rights to rebuild such property as if it were damaged by an act of God. Nothing herein shall be construed
to enable the property owner to commit an arson as defined under § 18.2-77 or 18.2-80 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, and obtain vested rights
under this section.
A copy of Ordinance 21-02-01, and related documents, are available for review at the following website:, and also at
the Planning Department Office within the Purcellville Town Hall, 221 South Nursery Avenue, Purcellville, Virginia from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, holidays
Please take notice that the Town continues to operate under Ordinance 20-03-01, which establishes the laws under which the Town will operate during the ongoing
COVID-19 emergency. Under that Ordinance, and because the Town Manager has determined that physical assembly of the public at Town Hall would harm the public
health, the Joint Public Hearing advertised herein will occur by electronic and telephonic means only. The Town’s public may fully participate in, listen to, and observe this
public hearing on-line with a computer, tablet, or smartphone, or, alternatively, by telephone conference call. On-line participation will be through GoToMeeting; please
follow the directions that immediately follow to participate through GoToMeeting:
If you have already installed the GoToMeeting app, then please attend the Joint Public Hearing by going to the following URL:
If you are new to GoToMeeting, please install the app in advance of the meeting by going to this URL: and following
the prompts.
Join the March 9, 2021 Joint Public Hearing by dialing-in using your telephone:
United States: +1 (872) 240-3311
Access Code: 341-850-645
In addition, all persons have the option of sending an email to the Town Clerk, Diana Hays, at, with written comments or questions about these
proposed Zoning Ordinance amendments. These emails may be sent before, or during the Joint Public Hearing. The Town Clerk, or another employee or officer of the
Town, will read those emails into the record before the Joint Public Hearing is closed.
At this joint public hearing, all persons desiring to present their views concerning these matters will be heard. If you require any type of reasonable accommodation to
participate in this meeting as a result of a physical, sensory or mental disability, please contact the Town Clerk, Diana Hays, at 540-338-7421. Please provide notice of the
accommodation at least three days in advance of the meeting.
Kwasi A. Fraser, Mayor
Town of Purcellville

Publication dates: 2/19/2021 & 2/26/2021

Nedim Ogelman, Chair
Purcellville Planning Commission

Publication Dates: 2/19/2021 & 2/26/2021


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