Technology Zone Ordinance 2009

Town of Front Royal Municipal Code

Technology Zone (Amended 2009)

75-58 Statement of Purpose

It is the purpose of the technology zone to foster high quality job creation and investment by technology related businesses, pursuant to the authority granted by Section 58.1-3850 of the Code of Virginia.

(Ord. 2-99 Added 3-8-99)

75-59 Technology Businesses Defined.

  1. Except as provided in subsection B below, a “technology business” includes any business:
    1. That derives, in whole or part, gross receipts from computer software, hardware, or telecommunication sales, leases, licenses; or (2) services for which computers or telecommunications are used to provide sales, leases, licensing, or services directly to the customer. Such businesses include but are not limited to, the following:
      • Electronic information operations and providers
      • Internet service providers
      • Software design and development
      • Computer and peripherals sales or assembly
      • Content developers
      • Internet-based sales and services
      • Hardware design, manufacture, assembly, and development
      • Telecommunications based video service providers
      • Outbound or inbound call centers
      • Telecommunications equipment manufacturing, assembly, or service
  2. “Technology business” does not include regulated utilities, telephone companies, or cable companies, nor does it include a business that merely uses computers or telecommunications in its internal operations.

(Ord. 2-99 Added 3-8-99).

 

75-60 Qualification

  1. Determination of eligibility shall be made by public board action by the Industrial Development Authority of the Town of Front Royal and County of Warren trading as the Economic Development Authority, the administrator of the program. Upon approval, the Economic Development Authority shall submit a written report to the Front Royal Director of Finance of such determination and include therein the name and address of the qualifying business, a description of the activities meeting the definitions of Section 75-59 of this Code, and the incentives for which the business is qualified.
  2. In order to qualify for local incentives pertaining to business and occupational licenses under this Article, a business must be located within the boundaries of a Front Royal Technology Zone and conform to the zoning therein.
  3. A business located in a Technology Zone must also make and maintain the following minimum job and capital investments, after September 30, 2009, within 12 months of Technology Zone application.

    Minimum Job Creation: 2 full-time jobs paying a minimum of 2.0 times the minimum wage plus a health and benefit plan valued equal to at least 10 percent of the base wage.

    Minimum Investment: $3,000 for Downtown Front Royal Zone; $10,000 (improvements, equipment, or machinery) Inventory does not count.

  4. A business must be, at the time of application, and remain, during eligibility, current in all local, state, and federal taxes and appropriate user fees. The business must certify the same to the Economic Development Authority at the time of application and annually thereafter.

(Ord. 2-99 Added 3-8-99).

 

75-61 Zone Benefits

  1. Permit FeeGrants.

    The Economic Development Authority shall provide cash reimbursements for the following local permits and fees up to a maximum cumulative value of $500 for qualified Technology Zone businesses provided the business’ application for reimbursement is filed with the Economic Development Authority within the first 12 months of operation within the Zone.

    Technology Zone Application Fees (EDA)

    • Building, plumbing, electrical & mechanical permit fees (Warren County)
    • Zoning Permit Fees (Front Royal)
    • Subdivision Application Fees (Front Royal)
  2. Business Professional and Occupational License Taxes.

    Provided they continue to remain qualified, qualified businesses shall be entitled to a credit of business and occupational license fees for that portion of their business classified as a “technology business” for a ten-year period while the business is located within a Front Royal Technology Zone as follows: During the first five years following application approval, the business shall be entitled to a one hundred-percent credit of its business and occupational license fees. During the sixth year, the business firms shall be entitled to an eighty-percent credit. During the seventh year, the business firm shall be entitled to a sixty-percent credit. During the eight year, the business firm shall be entitled to a forty-percent credit. During the ninth and tenth years, the business firm shall be entitled to a twenty-percent credit.

  3. Cash Grants.

    Qualified businesses may be eligible for annual cash grants to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the County of Warren and Town of Front Royal during the negotiation process based on job creation and investment. A minimum of 10 full-time jobs paying at least 2.0 times the minimum wage, and 3 full-time jobs paying at least 2.0 times the minimum wage in the Downtown Front Royal Zone, and benefits as noted above and a minimum investment of $100,000 $10,000 and $3,000 for Downtown Front Royal Zone businesses shall be required to be eligible for cash grants.

  4. All Town benefits are limited to that portion of the business enterprise created and maintained for and qualified under this Technology Zone program.

(Ord. 2-99 Added Enter Section 3-8-99)

 

75-62 Zones

Three (3) distinct Technology Zones are included herein as follows:

Happy Creek Zone: This zone generally focuses on the Happy Creek Industrial Park and the northern portion of the Human Life International Site. These lands are zoned I-2, Industrial Employment District. Technology-based businesses with a manufacturing component are encouraged to locate in this zone, consistent with the provisions of the I-2 Industrial Employment District.

Downtown Front Royal Zone: This zone is located within the downtown area of Front Royal and is generally coincident with the C-2 Downtown Business District. Technology-based businesses with a service orientation are encouraged to locate in this zone. Ground level storefronts are strongly encouraged to be used for retail activities. Due to the inherent size and capacity limitations of a downtown technology business, qualification thresholds for total investment requirement will be reduced from $10,000 to $3,000, and total full-time jobs created at two times the minimum wage rate will be reduced from 10 to 3 in this Zone.

Avtex Area Zone: This zone is located at and surrounding the office building of the former Avtex industrial site on Kendrick Lane. These lands are zoned I-2, Industrial Employment district. Technology-based businesses, either with a service orientation or with a manufacturing component, consistent with the purposes and intents of the I-2 Industrial Employment District, are encouraged to locate in this zone.

The boundaries of the zones are set forth on the maps attached to this ordinance upon passage and which hereafter shall be maintained by the Clerk of the Town Council.

(Ord. No. 2-99 Added Entire Section 3-8-99)
(Ord. No. 09-04 Added Avtex Area Zone & Amended Last Paragraph 7-12-04)

 

75-62 Master Agreement

Each qualified business applying for benefits in the Technology Zone program will execute a contract with the Economic Development Authority and the Town of Front Royal that will detail the specific terms and conditions of the firm’s participation in the program. This contract must be fully executed prior to award of any programs benefits.

Technology Zone Application