Owner/Applicants:                                                   Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


 James R. Green Jr.                                                                                      January 20, 2004


Staff Lead:                                                                                                       Department:


Charles A. Floyd, Senior Planner                                                    Community Development


Magisterial District:                                                                                                     PIN:


Marshall                                                                                                     6031-14-6213-000


Topic: A Resolution to Approve SPEX04-MA-010 a Category 26 Special Exception for a Reduction in Non-Common Open Space, Owner/Applicant – James R. Green, Jr.


Topic Description:


The applicant is seeking Special Exception approval for a reduction in the non-common open space requirement as specified in Article 2-406.3 of the Zoning Ordinance.  As shown on the table below, the Applicant is requesting approximately 14 percent reduction in the 85 percent non-common open space required with the subdivision of a property in the Rural Agriculture (RA) Zoning District.  The 85 percent rule applies to properties thirty (30) acres or greater in size in the RA and RC Zoning Districts.  See Attachment 1 for the Applicant’s Statement of Justification. 


The purpose of this proposed open space reduction is to allow the conveyance of a portion of the subject property to two (2) adjacent parcels via two boundary line adjustments to enlarge both neighboring properties, and to create one (1) additional building lot and a residue parcel for the applicant.  The one (1) additional building lot will be conveyed to the Habitat for Humanity.


Green Open Space Reduction








Open Space

Open Space









Land Area, Location and Zoning:


The subject property consists of ±31.83 acres zoned Rural Agriculture (RA).  The property is located on the south side of John Marshall Highway (Route 55), on the east side of Sage Road (Route 724), north of the Southern Railroad.  The subject tract is situated just east of the Village of Markham.


Adjacent Zoning/Land Use:




Rural Residential, Interstate 66



Rural Residential & Railroad



Rural Residential, Wooded


Village & RA



Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


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


Planning Commission Action:


On December 18, 2003, the Planning Commission held a public hearing and recommended approval of SPEX04-MA-010, subject to the following conditions:


1.      This Special Exception is granted for and runs with the land indicated in this application and is not transferable to other land.


  1. This Special Exception is granted only for the purpose(s), structure(s), and/or uses indicated on the Special Exception Plat approved with the application, as qualified by these development conditions.


  1. A deed of non-common open space shall be recorded on the ±25.46 acre residue parcel prior to Final Subdivision approval of Lot 3.  The applicant agrees to not construct a residential dwelling that requires crossing the floodplain for access or construction.


  1. A note should be added to the plat indicating that all lots shall access from a single point of entry within the 50 foot ingress/egress easement shown on the Special Exception Plat.


  1. The Boundary Line Adjustments shall be recorded prior to Final Subdivision approval of Lot 3. 


  1. Once Lot 3 has been subdivided and recorded, no further subdivision shall be permitted on PIN# 6031-14-7251-000 or any lots created from PIN# 6031-14-7251-000.


7.      The applicant agrees that proposed Lot 3 shall be conveyed to Habitat for Humanity or other affordable housing entity acceptable to the County.  No building permit shall be issued for Lot 3 until that conveyance has been completed.  If Lot 3 is not conveyed for affordable housing purposes, the lot area shall be vacated within five (5) years of the date of this Special Exception.


Staff Analysis:


Requirements of the Zoning Ordinance


Section 2-406 of the Zoning Ordinance provides that in the RA and RC Zoning Districts 85 percent of the gross site area shall be retained in non-common open space, unless a Special Exception satisfying the standards of Section 5-2600 is approved.


Section 5-2600 further provides that, for lots of 30 acres or greater in the RA and RC Zoning Districts, the Board of Supervisors may approve a reduction in the 85 percent open space requirement if it finds that a lesser amount would accomplish the purposes of the Ordinance. In summary, the Ordinance stipulates that the resulting development will not result in the unnecessary loss or degradation of natural resources, including prime agricultural and forestal lands; environmentally sensitive areas such as floodplains, steep slopes, rock outcrops and seasonally wet areas; predominant or unusual geologic features such as mountain peaks, caverns, gorges; areas critical to the existence of important types of flora and/or fauna.


Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations.  An analysis of these referrals and the actual comments from the appropriate agencies are included as attachments to this report.


The Applicant is proposing three (3) items pursuant to the open space reduction; one (1) additional lot, and two (2) boundary line adjustments.  In August of 2001, the Applicant Administratively subdivided the original 36.24 acres into 3 lots.  Attachment 2 is the Applicant’s Special Exception Plat.  These lots were 1.00, 3.41, and 31.83 acres in size.  Subsequently, the 1 acre tract has been sold to Heath A. Henegar, and the 3.41 acre parcel to Major R. Warner.  The applicant is now proposing to enlarge the 1 acre tract to 2.2 acres and the 3.4 parcel to 6.34 acres.  Finally, the applicant is proposing a subdivision of the 31.83 acre tract into two parcels of 2.14 and 25.46 acres (residue parcel).  If this division were to be created by reducing the non-common open space, it would need to be approved through the Preliminary Plat and Final Construction Plan process.


Engineering Considerations


The County Engineer’s Office has reviewed the Special Exception Plat and has the following comments:


·        All 3 lots should use the same entrance off Route 55. 


Transportation Considerations


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has reviewed the Special Exception application and has provided the following comments:


·        The Department has no comment regarding the requested reduction in open space.


·        Provided the entrance at the ingress/egress easement meets the Department’s standard for a Private Subdivision Road/Street Entrance standard in accordance with the Minimum Standards of Entrances to State Highways, VDOT would have no comment on one additional single family dwelling utilizing the existing access.


·         A note should be added to the plat indicating that all lots shall access from a single point of entry within the 50 foot ingress/egress easement.


·        The right-of-way width of Route 55 should be indicated from the centerline or edge of pavement to the property line.  The distance to the nearest state road needs to be provided.


Zoning Office Considerations


This parcel, when in whole at 36.2414 acres, had the density potential to be divided into 4 separate parcels. 


  • This property has been divided into 3 separate parcels on September 14, 2001, utilizing the administrative rights to the parent parcel.


  • If this lot were to be created reducing the non-common open space, it would need to be approved as a preliminary and final construction plan.


  • The property residual must be 85% of the total acreage size as of May 1986, or 30.80502. 


·        The applicant can cut 1.02778 acres from the residual parcel without a Special Exception by reconfiguring the parcels and adjusting the existing parcels to meet the current requirements and the intent of the Ordinance.




1.      Applicant’s Letter of Justification

2.      Special Exception Plat