[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Page 12-9-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 125.
This chapter's purposes are regulating and restricting the height of structures and objects or natural growth, and otherwise incidentally regulating the use of property in the vicinity of the airport in the County of Page, Virginia, by creating the appropriate zones and establishing the boundaries thereof; providing for changes in the restrictions and boundaries of such zones; defining certain terms used herein; providing for enforcement; and imposing penalties.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority conferred by Chapter 11 of Title 15.2, and specifically to satisfy the requirements of § 15.2-2294 of the Code of Virginia 1950 as amended. It is hereby found that an obstruction has the potential for endangering the lives and property of users of the airports and residents in the County of Page, Virginia; and that an obstruction may reduce the size of area available for the landing, takeoff, and maneuvering of aircraft, these tending to destroy or impair the utility of the airports and the public investment therein. Accordingly, it is declared:
That is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety and general welfare that the creation or establishment of obstructions that are hazards to air navigation be prevented;
That the creation or establishment of an obstruction has the potential for being a public nuisance and may injure the area served by the airport;
That the County of Page, Virginia, derives economic development and enhanced interstate commerce from Luray Caverns Airport when such airport and it's surrounding vicinity is held strictly to the highest possible safety standards; and
That the prevention of these obstructions should be accomplished, to the extent legally possible, by the exercise of the police power without compensation.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "County of Page, Virginia, Airport Safety Zoning Ordinance."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
- The official charged with the enforcement of this chapter. He or she shall be the Zoning Administrator of the County of Page.
- Luray Caverns Airport.
- AIRPORT ELEVATION
- The highest point on any usable landing surface expressed in feet above mean sea level.
- APPROACH SURFACE
- A surface, whose design standards are referenced in § 126-4 of this chapter, longitudinally centered on the extended runway center line, extending outward and upward from the end of the primary surface, and at the same slope as the approach zone.
- APPROACH, TRANSITIONAL, HORIZONTAL and CONICAL ZONES
- The airspace zones as set forth in § 126-4 of this chapter.
- CONICAL SURFACE
- A surface, whose design standards are referenced in § 126-4 of this chapter, extending and sloping horizontally and vertically from the periphery of the horizontal surface.
- HAZARD TO AIR NAVIGATION
- An obstruction determined by the Virginia Department of Aviation or the Federal Aviation Administration to have a substantial adverse effect on the safe and efficient utilization of navigable airspace in the commonwealth.
- For the purpose of determining the height limits in all zones set forth in § 126-5 of this chapter and shown on the Zoning Map, the datum shall be mean sea level (MSL) elevation unless otherwise specified.
- HORIZONTAL SURFACE
- A horizontal plane, whose design standards are referenced in § 126-4 of this chapter, above the established airport elevation, the perimeter of which in plan coincides with the perimeter of the horizontal zone.
- NONCONFORMING USE
- Any preexisting structure or object of natural growth which is inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter or any amendment to this chapter.
- Any structures, growth or other object, including a mobile object, which exceeds a limiting height, or penetrates any surface or zone floor, set forth in § 126-5 of this chapter.
- A document issued by the County of Page allowing a person to begin an activity which may result in any structure or vegetation exceeding the height limitations provided for in this chapter.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint-stock association or governmental entity. The term includes a trustee, a receiver, an assignee or similar representative of any of them.
- PRIMARY SURFACE
- A surface, whose design standards are referenced in § 126-4 of this chapter, longitudinally centered on the runway. The elevation of any point on the primary surface is the same as the elevation of the nearest point on the runway center line.
- A specified area on an airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft.
- Any object, including a mobile object, constructed or installed by any person, including but not limited to buildings, towers, cranes, smokestacks, earth formations, poles and electric lines of overhead transmission routes, flagpoles and ship masts.
- TRANSITIONAL SURFACES
- Surfaces, whose design standards are referenced in § 126-4 of this chapter, which extend outward perpendicular to the runway center line sloping from the sides of the primary and approach surfaces to where they intersect the horizontal and conical surface.
- Any object of natural growth.
- All areas provided for in § 126-4 of this chapter, generally described in three dimensions by reference to ground elevation, vertical distances from the ground elevation, horizontal distances from the runway center line and the primary and horizontal surfaces, with the zone floor set at specific vertical limits by the surface found in § 126-5 of this chapter.
In order to carry out the provisions of this chapter, there are hereby established certain zones which include all of the area airspace of the County of Page lying equal to and above the approach surfaces, transitional surfaces, horizontal surfaces and conical surfaces as they apply to the Luray Caverns Airport. These zones are established as overlay zones, superimposed over the existing base zones, being more specifically zones of airspace that do not affect the uses and activities of the base zones except as provided for in §§ 126-5 and 126-6 of this chapter. An area located in more than one of the following zones is considered to be only in the zone with the most restrictive height limitation. These zones are as follows:
Airport Zone: A zone that is centered about the runway and primary surface, with the floor set by the horizontal surface.
Approach Zone: A zone that extends away from the runway ends along the extended runway center line, with the floor set by the approach surfaces.
Transitional Zone: A zone that fans away perpendicular to the runway center line and approach surfaces.
Conical Zone: A zone that circles around the periphery of and outward from the horizontal surface, with the floor set by the conical surface.
The source and specific geometric design standards for these zones are to be found in Part 77.25, 77.28, and 77.29, Subchapter E (Airspace), of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or in successor federal regulations. A copy of these design standards is found in the Appendix of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Appendix A is on file at the administrative offices.
The criteria for determining the airspace zoning referenced in this chapter are to be based on the runway length in the current Airport Layout Plan adopted by the Board of Supervisors. FAR Part 77, Figure 77.25, Non-Precision Instrument Runway, C-Visibility minimums greater than 3/4 mile shall be the reference for dimensional standards in determining the various airspace surfaces.
Departure end surfaces as defined in Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 150/5300-13 shall also be included for evaluation in this chapter.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, in any zone created by this chapter no structure shall be erected, altered or maintained, and no vegetation shall be allowed to grow to a height so as to penetrate any referenced surface, also known as the floor, of any zone provided for in § 126-4 of this chapter at any point.
The height restrictions, or floors, for the individual zones shall be those planes delineated as surfaces in Part 77.25, 77.28, and 77.29, Subchapter E (Airspace), of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or in successor federal regulations. A copy of these design standards is found in the Appendix of this chapter.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, and within the area below the horizontal limits of any zone established by this chapter, no use may be made of land or water in such a manner as to:
Create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communication between the airport and aircraft;
Diminish the ability of pilots to distinguish between airport lights and other lights;
Result in glare in the eyes of pilots using the airport;
Impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport;
Create the potential for bird strike hazards; or
Otherwise in any way endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft in the vicinity of and intending to use the airport.
Except as provided in §§ 126-7B and 126-8B of this chapter, the regulations prescribed by this chapter shall not require the removal, lowering or other change or alteration of any structure or vegetation not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of this chapter, or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use. Nothing contained in this chapter shall require any change in the construction, alterations or intended use of any structure, the construction or alteration of which was begun prior to the effective date of this chapter, and is diligently prosecuted.
Notwithstanding the provision of § 126-7A, the owner of any existing nonconforming structure or vegetation is hereby required to permit the installation, operation, and maintenance thereon of whatever markers and lights deemed necessary by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Virginia Department of Aviation or the administrator to indicate to operators of aircraft the presence of that airport obstruction. These markers and lights shall be installed, operated and maintained at the expense of the airport owners, and not the owner of the nonconforming structure in question.
Except as provided in §§ 126-8A, 126-8B and 126-8C this chapter, no structure shall be erected or otherwise established in any zone created by this chapter unless a permit therefor shall have been applied for and granted. Each application for a permit shall indicate the purpose for which desired with and sufficient geometric specificity to determine whether the resulting structure would conform to the regulations prescribed in this chapter. No permit for a structure inconsistent with this chapter shall be granted unless a variance has been approved as provided in § 126-8D.
No permit shall be granted that would allow the establishment or creation of an obstruction or permit a nonconforming use or structure to become a greater hazard to air navigation than it was on the effective date of this chapter, or any amendments thereto, other than with relief ail provided for in § 126-8D.
Whenever the administrator determines that a nonconforming structure has been abandoned or more than 50% destroyed, physically deteriorated or decayed, no permit shall be granted that would enable such structure to be rebuilt, reconstructed or otherwise refurbished so as to exceed the applicable height limit or otherwise deviate from the zoning regulations contained in this chapter, except with the relief as provided for in § 126-8D.
Any person desiring to erect or increase the height or size of any structure not in accordance with the regulations prescribed in this chapter may apply for a variance from such regulations to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Such application shall be properly advertised and be reviewed and considered in a public hearing. Prior to being considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals, the application for variance shall be accompanied by a determination from the Virginia Department of Aviation as to the effect of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable airspace. Such variances shall only be allowed where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations will result in unnecessary hardship and relief granted will not be contrary to the public interest, will not create a hazard to air navigation, will do substantial justice and will be in accordance with the spirit of this chapter.
Any permit or variance granted may, if such action is deemed advisable to effectuate the purpose of this chapter and be reasonable in the circumstances, be so conditioned as to require the owner of the structure in question to install, operate and maintain, at the owner's expense, such markings and lights as may be deemed necessary by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Virginia Department of Aviation or the administrator. If deemed proper, through the failure of the owner of the structure or with other reasonable cause by the Board of Zoning Appeals, this condition may be modified to require the owner of the structure in question to permit the airport owner, at his own expense, to install, operate and maintain the necessary markings and lights.
Applications for permits and variances shall be made on forms available from the administrator, with such forms allowing for enough specific detail such that proper analysis can be given the request.
The administrator shall administer and enforce the regulations prescribed in this chapter. He or she shall be vested with the police power incumbent to carry out and effectuate this chapter, including the action of injunction, prosecution and other available means through the 26th Judicial Circuit Court of Page County.
Any person aggrieved, or any officer, department, board or bureau of the County of Page affected by a decision of the administrator, may appeal such decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Any person aggrieved or any taxpayer adversely affected by a decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals may appeal to the 26th Judicial Circuit Court of Page County.
Each violation of this chapter or of any regulation, order or ruling promulgated under this chapter shall constitute a misdemeanor and be punishable by a fine of no more than $500. Each day on which a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.
Where there exists a conflict between any of the regulations or limitations prescribed in this chapter and any other regulations applicable to the same subject, where the conflict is with respect to the height of structures or vegetation and the use of land, or any other matter, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern.
Should any portion or provision of this chapter be held by any court to be unconstitutional or invalid, that decision shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole, or any part of the chapter other than the part held to be unconstitutional or invalid.