PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owner/Applicant:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Donald R. Tharpe, Trustee

January 8, 2009

Staff Lead: 
Holly Meade, Senior Planner

Department:
Community Development

Magisterial District: 
Lee

Service District: 
Bealeton

PIN:
        6899-19-6609-000, 6990-10-5075-000,
and a portion of 6899-29-1470-000

 

Topic:

A Resolution to Amend the Comprehensive Plan to Add Approximately 12.9 Acres to the Bealeton Service District with the Planned Designation of Commercial Office/Mixed Use and to Remove Approximately 0.6 Acres from the Bealeton Service District and a Text Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan Requiring a Visual Hard Edge Between the Bealeton Service District and the Village of Liberty

 

Topic Description:

CPAM06-LE-005:  Tharpe/Marsh Road Commercial – Applicant Wishes to Obtain a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to Add Approximately 12.9 Acres to the Bealeton Service District with the Planned Designation of Commercial Office.  The Planning Commission Recommended a Designation of Commercial Office/Mixed Use and a Text Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan Requiring a Visual Hard Edge Between the Bealeton Service District and Village of Liberty.

The applicant is seeking to add approximately 13 acres to the Bealeton Service District of the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan.  The applicant is also requesting the Commercial Office designation for the 13 acres in conjunction with a companion rezoning of the property for mixed use (REZN08-LE-005).  In light of the Board of Supervisors’ recently adopted amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, Bealeton Service District, there is no longer an Office Commercial designation; therefore, a designation of Commercial Office/Mixed Use would be more appropriate. 

At this time, the applicant’s companion rezoning application, Colonial Crossing, (REZN08-LE-005) is being revised to comply with the new Mixed Use – Bealeton District. 

Location, Zoning and Current Land Use:

The properties are located adjacent to the Bealeton Service District, east of Route 17 (Marsh Road), at its intersection with Route 837 (Old Marsh Road), north of Liberty High School.  The parcels are currently zoned Rural Agricultural and Residential (R-4) and appear to be used for residential purposes. 

tharpecpazoning

 Surrounding Zoning and Current Land Use:

The neighboring properties to the north are located in the Village of Liberty and zoned as such (Village).  Property to the south is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA) and property to the east was recently rezoned from Rural Agricultural (RA) to Residential (R-4).  Property to the west was rezoned Planned Residential Development (PRD) with the Freedom Place rezoning.  Mixtures of residential and agricultural uses are located in the vicinity of the parcels, with Liberty High School to the south.

Site History:

Two of the three parcels (6899-19-6609-000 and a portion of 6899-29-1470-000) that are the subject of this Comprehensive Plan Amendment were once included in the Bealeton Service District; however, they were removed by the Board of Supervisors on November 18, 2002.  On June 21, 2004, the Board passed a resolution to add Mr. Tharpe’s large adjoining parcel back into the Bealeton Service District, but the two previously mentioned parcels were not included.  Now the applicant would like all three parcels that are currently located outside of the Service District to be included in the Bealeton Service District, as they are part of the applicant’s mixed-use proposal.  (Please note that parcel identification numbers have changed over time due to boundary line adjustments.)

This Comprehensive Plan Amendment was originally filed in 2006 and was associated with a commercial rezoning.  That commercial rezoning (REZN07-LE-009) is no longer being pursued.  The applicant is now pursuing the mixed use rezoning submitted on December 20, 2007 (REZN08-LE-005).  This rezoning application has changed considerably since it was first submitted and is being finalized to conform to the recently adopted Mixed Use - Bealeton District.

Comprehensive Plan/Land Use:

As previously stated, these three parcels containing approximately 13 acres are not currently included in the Bealeton Service District.  The burgundy area shown on the map below, which is adjacent to the site, is designated for Commercial Office/Mixed Use (1).  The yellow area (6) represents low density residential, lime green area (7) is designated as medium density residential, and the blue area (12) represents the school.

tharpecpacp

 

On November 13, 2008, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors adopted an amendment to the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan - Chapter 6, Service Districts, to the Bealeton portion of the Bealeton, Opal and Remington Service District.  This County sponsored amendment re-designates the adjoining area to the south and east from Commercial Office to Commercial Office/Mixed Use, and, calls for a traditional form of development in this area (Area #1).  The wider application of mixed-use urban planning concepts is encouraged in Area #1, which is specifically targeted for mixed-use development.  Any proposal for mixed-use development in Area #1 will need to maintain a strong commercial presence.  This land use category should emerge as a traditional development with a dominant presence of commercial uses, both office and retail.  Residential uses within Area #1 should include a combination of residential units over commercial uses, live-work units, townhouses or multi-family units, with small lot single homes at the outer edges. 

For commercially based mixed-use areas, design principles are critical and are outlined in the newly revised Bealeton Comprehensive Plan.  These design principles include but are not limited to the following:  pedestrian orientation, predominantly multi-story buildings, parking behind the principle structures, buildings and building entrances placed directly behind the sidewalks, mix of uses within buildings, approximately scaled window and door openings on the first floor, street furniture, etc.  These design principles will apply to the approximately 13 acres if added to the Service District and designated Commercial Office/Mixed Use. 

The Bealeton Plan has long called for a Town Center, surrounded by a “well-defined edge of parks and natural area.”  The subject properties of this Plan Amendment are bounded by the Service District to the south, east, and west.  The Bealeton Plan calls for a collector road north of the subject properties.  If approved, this Comprehensive Plan Amendment would make the collector road the new boundary to the Service District in this area. 

In order to further a hard edge boundary between the Bealeton Service District and the Village of Liberty, the Planning Commission recommended that the 50-foot wide strip of the property identified by PIN #6899-29-5691, extending from the main portion of the subject property to old Marsh Road (and totaling approximately 0.6 acres) be removed from the Bealeton Service District, and that language be added as the last paragraph to the text of the Bealeton Service District Plan, under #3 Land Use Plan, a. Overall Layout, as follows:

“With the location of any development on the east side of Route 17, north of Liberty High School, a visual hard edge between the Bealeton Service District and the Village of Liberty is required.  The 50-foot side strip located one parcel north of the Service District boundary should be designated (and zoned) as Village and used only for local road, open space or other use consistent with the Village designation.  The existing stand of mature evergreens along the Route 17 frontage near the Service District Boundary should be retained to the extent possible or, if removed similar landscaping should be planted to retain a green buffer between the edge of the Service District and the Village of Liberty.”

The County has a long-standing policy of retaining service district hard edges for the purpose of growth management and maintaining a definite boundary between urban and rural areas.  (See zoning map for the location of the Village of Liberty.)  If approved, the Comprehensive Plan text amendment recommended above would lead to the rezoning of the 50-foot strip referenced above as part of the Tharpe Mixed Use rezoning application.  In addition, it would require a green buffer between the edge of the Service District and the Village of Liberty as part of any rezoning.  

Planning Commission Recommendation

Public Utilities:

The Bealeton, Opal and Remington Service Districts are all served by the Remington Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).  Bealeton is planned for 2 million square feet of business, retail, office and industry plus residential units.  Opal is primarily zoned and planned for business, while Remington is planned for mixed use and residential.  If fully built-out, the land already planned for these utilities in the three service districts would consume approximately 2,276,000 gallons per day (gpd) of sewer and over 2.0 million gallons per day (mgpd) for water.  The table below estimates the demand for public utilities.

 

Business Development Strategies Report (March 2, 2007)

The Business Development Strategies Report (March 2, 2007) documents the limited availability of sewer.  The Remington WWTP is not yet fully operational to its maximum permitted capacity of 2.5 million gallons per day (mgpd).  Rather than expand the treatment facility to treat 2.5 mgpd, the Board of Supervisors asked the WSA to make mandatory upgrades to the WWTP by 2010 for an anticipated total treatment capacity of between 1.8 and 2.0 mgpd.  All upgrades to the plant must be fully operational by the year 2010, or else its capacity for sewage treatments is essentially limited to 1.4 mgpd (more specifically, the nutrient levels will be capped at existing levels on 12/31/10).

In addition to Bealeton, Opal and Remington requiring public sewer service from the Remington WWTP, the Village Service District of Midland might also be a contender for this public utility.  Midland is heavily zoned and planned for industry and has an operational airport that could expand one day.  It is estimated that Midland could require at least 100,000 gpd.  One option outlined in the Draft Midland Plan (2008) is to run sewer lines from the Remington WWTP to Midland.  Should the Board decide to extend the sewer lines further to Catlett and Calverton, even more sewer capacity from the Remington WWTP would be used elsewhere.

 

Using the Business Development Strategies Report estimates, the portion of the Tharpe property already in the service district would use approximately 73,500 gpd (37,500 gpd for 25 acres of commercial and 36,000 gpd for 60 acres of residential at 2 units per acre).   This is based on the existing land use designations of Commercial Office and Low Density Residential: 1-3 units per acre.  While this is a Comprehensive Plan Amendment not a rezoning, rough assumptions can be made about the sewer demand for the proposed 13 acre increase to the Service District.  13 acres of mixed use core would generate approximately 31,200 gpd (19,500 for commercial plus 11,700 for residential, assuming 3 units per acre).  These figures do not include the increased sewer demand based on the Comprehensive Plan Amendment recently approved by the Board of Supervisors that re-designated the 25 acres from Commercial Office to Commercial Office/Mixed Use.  This could add another 22,500 gpd (75 residential units) in addition to the already accounted for commercial development.  Note, these are rough estimates and future rezonings will contain the details to allow a more thorough evaluation of sewer demand.

The County and the WSA strive to have balanced land use plans with realistic utility plans. However, the demand for public sewer service according to the land use plans for Bealeton, Opal and Remington already exceeds the supply under current conditions.  Therefore, more intense development of the service district and expansion of the service district will essentially cause a reallocation of utility service capacity from other areas of the districts.  This proposal would take away sewer capacity from sites already in the Bealeton, Opal & Remington Service Districts that have the higher zoning potential or are comprehensively planned for a more intense use than the existing zoning allows.  The Board will need to determine if the location and merits of this property justify using the limited future taps for this project.   

The proposed Service District expansion will require a certain amount of public water.  The Water & Sanitation Authority should be able to supply staff with a determination of whether there is a water supply source great enough to service the Service District expansion.

Transportation:

The applicant is proposing access via a Comprehensive Plan local access road that connects Marsh Road (Route 17) to Liberty Road (Route 745) through the Colonial Crossing project.  The applicant intends to use the Comprehensive Plan connector road that will be constructed as part of the pending Colonial Crossing rezoning.  The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has stated they do not have any comments at this time; however, a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) has been prepared for the companion rezoning, and VDOT continues to work with the applicant on the rezoning.

Site Suitability/Environment:

The applicant briefly addresses environmental issues in the Statement of Justification.  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps, these properties are not located within the 100-year floodplain.  However, it appears there are soils that are characterized as being subject to frequent flooding and may have hydric inclusions, which indicate the possibility of wetlands.  According to Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance Section 13-202, a wetland delineation is required with the rezoning application.  A Stormwater Management Plan is also required with any rezoning application in accord with the Fauquier County Design Standards Manual 203.2.1, which will specifically identify environmental features and impacts on the site.  There are significant mature trees at the northern end of the site, which screen the site and are in keeping with the rural character outside of the Service District.

Historic Resources:

The Comprehensive Plan, Appendix C, identifies historic resources located within the County; the Appendix does not identify any historical features on this site by the plan.  However, this list is not exhaustive and Chapter 2 of the Comprehensive Plan states that there are more historical sites beyond those listed in the Appendix.  A site visit by staff showed an older home and rock wall that was somewhat in disrepair located on the property.  Staff can provide pictures if the Board so wishes and further study may be warranted.  It may be possible to incorporate the structure if historic, or to move it. 

Community Facilities:

As previously mentioned, the applicant has filed a companion mixed use rezoning application.  The Comprehensive Plan for Bealeton calls for a mix of uses including civic uses and urban parks and squares.  These are not currently included as part of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment application.

Staff and Review Agency Comments:

 

Staff and the appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations.  Staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below.  The bold italicized language below the agency’s comments represents how the comments will be addressed. 

Planning

Staff had previously noted concerns when the application was first submitted that the applicant needed to demonstrate how the development would contribute to Bealeton’s vision of a traditional town, complete with a well-balanced mix of uses and a hard-edge to the town if located on the exterior of the district.  Development in the Service District should address the protection and inclusion of natural resources on the site, keeping in mind that these more urban areas need green spaces for its residents and wildlife.  It should contribute to a sense of place, with buildings at a human-scale, and pedestrian and bike facilities and green spaces.  The plan envisions buildings pulled up to the street, streets lined with street trees, sidewalks, all arranged in a grid network.  Now that the Mixed Use Zoning District – Bealeton Service District (MU – Bealeton) has been approved, the neo-traditional, mixed-use concept can be sought. 

The Board of Supervisors needs to weigh the costs and benefits of increasing the Service District. In the absence of the companion rezoning, the Planning Commission recommended language for the Comprehensive Plan to maintain the hard-edge of the service district and to maintain a separation with the Village of Liberty.

The Board approved Comprehensive Plan Amendment for Bealeton includes text to require a traditional form of development in the adjacent Commercial Office area (see attachment 4). 

Zoning

The Zoning Office did not prepare official comments on the application; however, they have verbally indicated there do not appear to be any zoning issues at this stage of the process.  They are focusing their efforts on the text amendments creating the mixed use district and analysis of the companion rezoning application.

Engineering

1.    The submission requirements for Comprehensive Plan Amendments state that information that shall accompany the application include environmental features and impacts.  This information was not included.  Based on GIS information there are soils that are characterized as being subject to frequent flooding and may have hydric soil inclusions which indicates the possibility of wetlands.  A wetlands delineation is required for a rezoning application.  (Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance 13-202)

                       

Informational; will be addressed with the rezoning application.

2.      Location of entrances into this property should be consolidated and coordinated with the surrounding 25 acre parcel that the Comprehensive Plan designates as commercial office.  (Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance 7-303, 7-400, Appx. C 5-12, 4-26)

Informational; will be addressed with the rezoning application.

3.      A Stormwater Management Concept Plan is required with any rezoning application.  (Fauquier County Design Standards Manual 203.2 (#1))

Informational; will be included as part of the rezoning application.

Soils

  1. Based on the Fauquier County Soil Survey, 73% of the site is rated good to fair for general development using central water and sewer.  The remainder of the site (27%) is rated very poor for central water and sewer due to high shrink-swell, high intermittent water table and may include hydric soil inclusions.  The soils are also listed as having a low bearing capacity due to silt content and wetness issues.   The entire site has soils that are listed as Prime Farmland.  Comments may change substantially when preliminary soil report is submitted.

Provided for informational purposes.

  1. Future actions required:  Preliminary soil report, Jurisdictional wetland determination, Geotechnical investigation.

Provided for informational purposes.

VDOT

·         The Warrenton Residency staff has reviewed the above referenced Comprehensive Plan Amendment dated June 6, 2007 to add these two parcels to the service district, and we do not have any comments.  A Traffic Impact Analysis will need to be completed with the noted rezoning, and will be required under 15.2-2222.1 which will be in effect in Fauquier on January 1, 2008.  One scoping meeting was previously held, but the scope of the project was still unclear at that time.  An updated scoping meeting will need to be held in accordance with the above mentioned requirements.

Provided for informational purposes.  A Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) for the companion rezoning has been submitted, although an amendment may be required by VDOT based on the differences in the most recent rezoning submittal.

Summary and Recommendation:

If the Board of Supervisors wishes to approve the Comprehensive Plan Amendment application, staff recommends doing so subject to the Planning Commission’s recommendation listed in the section immediately following.

Planning Commission Action:

On December 10, 2008 the Planning Commission recommended approval, with a four to zero vote, of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment application CPAM06-LE-005 by Donald R. Tharpe, Trustee to add approximately 13 acres to the Bealeton Service District with the Planned Designation of Commercial Office/Mixed Use, moving the boundary to the northern property line of the property identified by PIN #6990-10-5075-000.

In order to further a hard edge boundary between the Bealeton Service District and the Village of Liberty, the Planning Commission recommended that the 50-foot wide strip of the property identified by PIN #6899-29-5691, extending from the main portion of the subject property to old Marsh Road (and totaling approximately 0.6 acres) be removed from the Bealeton Service District, and that language be added as the last paragraph to the text of the Bealeton service District Plan, under #3 Land Use Plan, a. Overall Layout, as follows:

“With the location of any development on the east side of Route 17, north of Liberty High School, a visual hard edge between the Bealeton Service District and the Village of Liberty is required.  The 50-foot side strip located one parcel north of the Service District boundary should be designated (and zoned) as Village and used only for local road, open space or other use consistent with the Village designation.  The existing stand of mature evergreens along the Route 17 frontage near the Service District Boundary should be retained to the extent possible or, if removed similar landscaping should be planted to retain a green buffer between the edge of the Service District and the Village of Liberty.”

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached resolution.

 

Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request: 

Department of Community Development
Department of Economic Development
Commissioner of the Revenue

 

Attachments:

1.            Statement of Justification

2.            Comprehensive Plan Amendment Plat, Dated June 4, 2007, Last Revised March 25, 2008

3.            Map Amendment Requested

4.            Text of Bealeton Comprehensive Plan Amendment (Approved on November 13, 2008)

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