New Agricultural Zoning Rule in Bedford County

Bedford Co., VA - There are new rules dictating where and how many houses can be built in rural Bedford County.

Monday, supervisors approved a zoning amendment for agricultural preserve districts, which make up 60% of the land in Bedford County. Lots must be 1.5 acres minimum, with 150 feet of public road frontage. Family subdivision lots can be just one acre.

"I felt that was good for the people who wanted to be able to sell off their land without selling in three acres," said Curry Martin, a supervisor who voted for the change. "Yet it wouldn't crowd the county up with a lot more homes and things."

Bedford Above Board, an activist group, had been fighting the zoning changes for the last five years. Members fear Bedford County will become an over-developed sleeper community for Roanoke and Lynchburg, similar to what Northern Virginia is to the District of Columbia.

"What's happened there initially started by allowing development in the AG lands," said David Lowry, with Bedford Above Board. "That foundation will allow this to happen in this county."

The ordinance became effective immediately after its adoption by the board.