Neighborhood Zoning In My Hometown

Lauren Wood

Community Power

Reaction Paper 2

Dr. Martin

November 6, 2015


Neighborhood Zoning In Williamsburg James City County


After living in Williamsburg James City County for almost all of my life I’ve been aware of neighborhood zoning because I would overhear adults talking about it but I never fully understood what neighborhood zoning actually meant in Williamsburg until taking a deeper look into the zoning plan for the county. After doing some research on the neighborhood-zoning plan in Williamsburg James City County I have a better understanding of how the board decides to zone neighborhoods. The plan has many strengths and weaknesses, for example, the people in charge of this job did not do a good job zoning the neighborhoods so that the public schools had an equal balance of upper-class, middle – class, and lower class population. A strength of this neighborhood zoning plan is that it is very organized and well planned out.

James City County has nineteen different zoning designations in the ordinance but only fifteen have been applied currently. Each district contains a set of by- right uses and most of the districts have a set of specially permitted uses. To figure out whether a parcel is zoned appropriately for a given use one can locate the address on the zoning map or use the Property Information System found on the planning and zoning homepage for Williamsburg James City County. You can find the list of by- right and specially permitted uses in the Zoning Ordinance.

The Zoning Administrator (the person in charge) is empowered to administer and enforce the requirements of the zoning ordinance. If one has complaints such as excessive trash, uncut grass/ uncared for yards, and excessive trash, they report it to the zoning Office where they take care of violations like these.

The neighborhood-zoning plan in Williamsburg James City County plan has many strengths, as it changes very often some positive things stay the same like how organized the plan is. There are several chapters in the zoning ordinance plan that keeps everything organized and in place. The plan lists all rules and regulations that apply to the neighborhood-zoning plan.

A weakness of this zoning plan in James City County is that schools are very unbalanced. The balance between upper class, middle class, and lower class is not well spread out between the school systems. All of the upper class and middle class population children are zoned to go to one school while the rest of the population (the lower class) is zoned. Another weakness is that the upper class neighborhoods are zoned to the newer and nicer schools while the lower class population is stuck with the older, not as nice schools in Williamsburg. This is a very known problem and something needs to be done about it.

Williamsburg James City County neighborhood zoning plan is well written and very organized. Although it has some weaknesses, it has many strengths that out way the negatives. Williamsburg James city county’s neighborhood zoning system continues to better itself and make improvements.

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