Owner/Applicant:                                                Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Fauquier Habitat for Humanity                                                 January 20, 2004


Staff Lead:                                                                        Department:


Holly Meade, Planner                                                    Community Development


Magisterial District:  Marshall                                             PIN(s):          


Service District:  None                       6962-27-9169 and 6962-27-6098-000                          


Topic:  A Resolution to Approve a Category 20 Special Exception to Allow the Construction of a Private, Individual Wastewater Treatment System With a Point of Discharge


Topic Description:


The purpose of this Special Exception is to obtain authorization to install an on-site private sewage disposal system with direct discharge to correct a failed septic system and denial of a conventional replacement by the Health Department. The new system is necessary to alleviate the current situation of raw sewage being leached into the groundwater on the property identified as 6962-27-6098-000. The system has been designed by a professional engineer (see attached description and plans) and approved by the Health Department.  As proposed, the system will be a recirculating sand filter with discharge disposal into an unnamed tributary of Barrows Run.


The two parcels, 6962-27-6098-000 and 6962-27-9169-000, were purchased on December 1, 2003 by Fauquier County Habitat for Humanity.  A boundary line adjustment was recently approved by the Department of Community Development to consolidate the two lots.  In partnership with Fauquier Housing Corporation and a local church, Habitat for Humanity will construct a new house for the individuals occupying the existing inhabitable structure.  Once the family has moved, the existing structure will be demolished.


Habitat for Humanity, in conjunction with Fauquier Housing Corporation, will be receiving a grant in the beginning of January 2004 to construct the new dwelling.  Once the grant is received, the organizations have 120 days to construct and close on the new dwelling; therefore, timing is critical with this application. 


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


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


Land Area, Location and Zoning:    


The property is located in the mid-western part of the County known as Turnbull at 8542 Turnbull Road.  The property is zoned Village (V).  It is developed with a small residential structure. A map of the property is shown below.



Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:


The property is surrounded by RA (Agricultural) and V (Village) zoning.  The prevailing land use is residential development, with agricultural to the west.


Planning Commission Action:


On December 18, 2003, the Planning Commission held a public hearing and recommended approval of SPEX04-MA-014, subject to the following conditions:


  1. The applicant shall obtain all applicable permits from the Health Department and DEQ (VPDES permits).


  1. An annual operation and maintenance program shall be submitted by the design engineer and approved by the Health Department.


  1. The approved annual operation and maintenance program shall be contracted to a qualified and licensed professional operator.


  1. Evidence of a continuing operation and maintenance program and a report on system performance shall be submitted annually to the Health Department and Zoning Department to ensure compliance with this Special Exception.



Staff Analysis:


Staff and 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 actual responses from referral agencies are included as attachments.


Ordinance and County Code Requirements


The Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance provides that a Special Exception for a private individual sewage treatment system which discharges into an open ditch or water shall be allowed only to replace an existing sewage system which is presently serving an existing use. That existing sewage system must have failed and have been certified by the Virginia Department of Health to pose a real or potential health threat and a discharging sewage treatment system is the only alternative for the repair. In approving such a system the Board may establish conditions including but not limited to use, maintenance, and testing.


Section 17-17 of the County Code also imposes conditions on the construction of individual sewage disposal or treatment facilities requiring discharge into state waters.  This Section states that it shall be unlawful for any person or firm to make application to any state agency or enter into the design of any sewage disposal system by whatever name it shall be called that would require point discharge into any stream or drainage way in Fauquier County prior to making a formal request for public hearing to the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors. This request must be made in writing through the Fauquier County Health Department. This request shall be presented to the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors to be advertised for public hearing at its next regular meeting. Public notice shall be in accord with Section 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia.


In addition, this Section requires that any person submitting a request for discharge into state waters shall submit written proof of notification of all downstream property owners for a distance of one (1) mile. Notice sent by certified mail to the last-known address of such owner as shown on the current real estate tax books of Fauquier County shall be deemed adequate compliance with this requirement. The provision of notice shall be the responsibility of the owner. No request shall be considered within five (5) days of any such notice.


It should be noted that the required public hearing is for the benefit of the people of Fauquier County, to provide notice only, of a proposed sewage discharge into county waters. Approval or disapproval of the proposal by the Board of Supervisors in no way grants final approval of design, construction or discharge to county waters. All such approval shall be under the authorities so designated to perform such duties.


Engineering Considerations


The Engineering Division has reviewed the above referenced plan and has provided the following comments.


1.      Provisions for maintenance and monitoring need to be provided.


2.      Information on the anticipated velocity of the discharge needs to be provided.   Some type of energy dissipater may be required at the discharge point; properly sized rip rap will be adequate.


3.      Applicant is responsible for obtaining all applicable local, state and federal permits.




The County Soil Scientist has reviewed this application and has provided the following comments.


Having evaluated the site and soil conditions on this parcel, the Soil Scientist agrees with previous evaluators that there is nothing on-site for the disposal of treated wastewater. Since this is a replacement of the existing failed system, this proposal presents the most reasonable alternative. The Health Department and the Soil Scientist suggested this particular system after the soils on this parcel were evaluated.





  1. Denial letter from Health Department
  2. Special Exception Plat