Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:  

Fauquier County School Board

February 12, 2009 

Staff Lead:


Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning

Community Development 

Magisterial District:



Service District:


A Resolution to Approve a Special Exception Amendment (SEAM09-CR-002) to a Previously Approved Special Exception (SPEX06-CR-014) for a Secondary School


Topic Description:

The applicant wishes to amend a previously approved Special Exception to allow for the relocation of one athletic field as well as the addition of one athletic field to the high school site.  The applicant also wishes to construct an emergency access road to serve the site.

The original Special Exception was approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 13, 2006. The requested amendment seeks to modify the Special Exception plat for the field relocation and field addition; as well as the emergency access road.  The Planning Commission has recommended several new conditions to address the aforementioned requests.  Also included is a condition to allow the high school to make (future) minor modifications on-site without having to amend the Special Exception.

The proposed soccer/physical education athletic field relocation is requested due to the extension of Academic Avenue.  The field was originally located southeast of the baseball field; the new location is in front of the main high school building on Rogues Road. The additional soccer/physical education field is proposed near the relocated field.  The fields are approximately 250 feet from Rogues Road.  The emergency access road proposed for the site will enable emergency services and public safety vehicles to enter the high school and elementary school site in the event Academic Avenue is not accessible. 

The athletic fields will be a natural grass surface and will be fenced.  The application states the fields will be visually screened by a combination of the terrain, plantings, and natural vegetation.  The emergency access road will connect to Rogues Road via the existing access road used by the Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority for access to its facilities.  The road is 12 feet wide and approximately 2,300 feet long.  It will have a gravel surface and part of it will be asphalt paved.  It will be designed and constructed to support heavy emergency vehicles such as fire apparatus.  Access to the road from Rogues Road and from the interior school road network will be barred by a chain barrier; arrangements will be made for the emergency services and public safety personnel to remove the barrier temporarily as needed.   


Location,  Zoning and Current Land Use:

Kettle Run High School and Greenville Elementary School are located on a 209-acre site on the east side of Rogues Road (Route 602) directly across from the Grapewood Estates subdivision.  The parcel is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA). 


Surrounding Zoning and Current Land Use:

Surrounding parcels are zoned RA and R-1 to the north (Grapewood Subdivision); RA to the south and east; and R-1 and RA to the west.  The surrounding properties are in residential or agricultural use. 

Staff and Review Agency Comments: 

Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations. Findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below. Following each comment is a staff note in italics stating how the comment has been addressed.


1.      The following Zoning Ordinance standards are applicable:

a.       5-006, General Standards;

b.      5-501 Standards for all Category 5 Uses;

c.       5-502 Additional Standards for All Category 5 Uses Other than Pre-School/Day Care Center/Nursery School;

d.      5-504 Standards for Primary School, Secondary/Advanced Schools and Technical Schools (Indoor).

2.      Zoning Staff defers to Planning Staff the assessment of standard compliance but would note the following:

The only components of the high school site that are under review are the field relocation, additional field and emergency access road.  The Board of Supervisors’ approval of the original Special Exception demonstrates that it has generally met the aforementioned standards.

a.       A Site Plan Amendment was approved on January 17, 2008 for the relocation of the soccer fields and pond redesign contingent upon this Special Exception Amendment being approved. The area to be occupied by the relocated soccer fields was permitted for grading and seeding only and no installation of facilities or athletic activity was allowed to take place unless a Special Exception Amendment is processed and approved.

There are no structures associated with the fields.  The fields will be graded grass practice fields.  The area will be similar in appearance to what it would have been with seeding and grading.  The main difference is the area will now be usable for recreation.

b.      The approved Special Exception Concept Plan showed the first 900’ (approximately) of frontage as being undisturbed and ungraded, with no uses or activity located in the area.  The closest active uses, tennis courts, were located 888’ from the road.  The relocation of the two soccer fields is within approximately 250 feet of the road, directly across the street from a residential subdivision whose residents have a reasonable expectation based on the concept plan that the area directly across the street would be lawn or woods for about 900’ of depth, not soccer fields.  Therefore, pursuant to the Special Exception standards for the use, if the revised field locations are approved, they will need to be fenced and be effectively screened. The Special Exception Amendment plans do not include a sheet depicting the proposed screening and fencing of the fields.

Staff would note that the Site Plan Amendment for the Emergency Access Road (SPAM09-CR-004), currently under review, includes landscaping and fencing for the relocated soccer fields. Staff would strongly encourage that such landscaping and screening be included as part of this Special Exception Amendment application.

The applicant’s Statement of Justification states that it intends to comply with the Zoning Ordinance screening requirements.  The application states that the fields will be a natural grass surface and be effectively screened by the terrain, landscape plantings and existing vegetation.  Zoning Ordinance Section 5-501 requires screening of the fields.  It is up to the Zoning Administrator to interpret the type and amount of screening (at Site Plan).  The Planning Commission may prefer to specify the screening in this circumstance, if they seek more than the Zoning Ordinance requires.  Staff recommends a new condition to ensure that these fields near Rogues Road are not lit.  Staff further recommends retention of the existing trees west of the tennis courts.

c.       If there will be fill in the floodplain, the Applicant will need to obtain a Special Exception Category 23. Staff would recommend applying for all needed special exceptions at one time to eliminate delays in the future.

There is no fill in the floodplain proposed with this application; however, the applicant is fully aware that a Category 23 Special Exception will be required in the future as later phases of the site are developed.

Technical Division

The Technical Division has reviewed the plans for the above referenced project sealed on October 13, 2008 by Timothy S. Doody.



The soils in the area of the proposed emergency access road and P.E. athletic fields are generally rated “Fair” to “Very Poor” for general development.  The major limitations are seasonal high water table, shallow bedrock, high shrink-swell potential and low bearing capacity.  A review of the geotechnical studies previously submitted as part of the Kettle Run High School major site plan offer limited information in the area of interest, but suggest that shrink-swell soils and depth to bedrock may be concerns for road and athletic field construction.

Information for the applicant.

Erosion & Sediment Control

No comment.


Code Compliance:


1.      Evidence of a wetlands permit from Department of Environmental Quality/Army Corps of Engineers will be required prior to final site plan approval for the access road. (Fauquier County Design Standards Manual 201.8 #4)

Information for Site Plan phase.


The Warrenton Residency staff reviewed the above referenced Special Exception Amendment dated October 13, 2008, and has the following comments:

  1. Entrance on Route 602 needs to be in conformance with the standards in the Minimum Standards of Entrances to State Highways including meeting minimum required sight distance.

There is a Special Exception Condition to address this.

  1. Emergency Access road should be clearly labeled on the plan to be privately maintained as it will not meet requirements to be accepted for state maintenance.

There is a Special Exception Condition to address this.

  1. Application is indicating that the road is for the use of emergency vehicles, but it has not been shown to be barricaded and the application does not indicate it will be restricted from other use.  The access road appears to provide the only access to the relocated soccer fields near the front of the property, and that the road may be used to access these facilities.  Entrance design needs to meet the anticipated number of vehicles that will use the entrance.

Applicant has made a change to the plat to show double swing gates to restrict unauthorized vehicles from using the emergency access.

  1. The connection of the emergency access road to Academic Avenue is off the end of the road which we have already provided comments to the County on this design.  As Academic Avenue is intended to be extended in the future as a state maintained road, this proposed access would interfere with the construction of the road.  All construction materials for the emergency access road would have to be removed to extend Academic Avenue, and it is unclear how the emergency access road would connect after Academic Avenue is extended.  We also provided comments on the type of barricade at the end of Academic Avenue being changed, and not being in conformance with our standards.  We recommended the access be through the parking lot.

Applicant has made a change to the plat to move the barricade location to the opposite end of the parking lot that is not adjacent to VDOT right-of-wayIf the future road extension is required, the parking lot will be redesigned.

Planning Commission Summary and Action of December 10, 2008:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at their work session and requested a site visit.  Discussion centered on the location of the fields near the road and appropriate screening.  The Planning Commission opened the public hearing on this item.  No members of the public spoke.  The public hearing was postponed until January 29, 2009.

Since the Planning Commission meeting of December 10, 2008, site visits were conducted for Commissioners to view the proposed fields.  School staff flagged the field locations.  Staff also met with School Administration to refine the Special Exception conditions.

Planning Commission Summary and Action of January 29, 2009:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at their work session and proposed additional conditions related to the use, construction, and maintenance of the two fields along Rogues Road.  The Planning Commission continued the public hearing on this item.  Two members of the public spoke.  One questioned the location of the emergency access road (i.e., its being located on the same road as the school entrance) and one in favor of the emergency access road.  The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval with the conditions below.

Summary and Recommendation:

Should the Board of Supervisors approve this Special Exception Amendment, the Planning Commission recommended the conditions below.  Conditions 27 through 40 (in italics) are new.  The date of the plat has also changed to October 13, 2008, received in the Planning Office on November 20, 2008. The rest of the conditions remain the same as in the original Special Exception approval.

1.      The Special Exceptions are granted for and run with the land indicated in these applications and are not transferable to other land.

2.      The Special Exceptions are granted for, and are to be in substantial conformance with, the purpose(s), structure(s) and/or uses indicated on the Special Exception Plats “High School #3 Amendment” dated October 13, 2008 and received in the Planning Office on November 20, 2008.

3.      A Site Plan shall be required, pursuant to Article 12 of the Zoning Ordinance.

4.      This Special Exception approval does not remove any Site Plan, Administrative Special Permit, Special Permit or Special Exception approval required for specific uses permitted in the RA zoning district, pursuant to Article 3 of the Zoning Ordinance.

5.      This Special Exception approval does not remove any other approvals or permits that shall be required from the County, and other local, state or federal agencies.

6.      Athletic and recreational lighting of the ball fields shall be consistent with the requirements set forth in the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.  This shall include downward directed and shielded lighting.

7.      The architecture, building materials and landscaping shall be consistent with the Special Exception Plat, and as described in the Statement of Justification.

8.      The sewer piping and sewer pumping station and its related facilities, constructed through the New Baltimore Service District, shall be designed to accommodate only the wastewater needs of the high school with its maximum capacity of 1500 students and projected employment of 200.  The extension of public sewer and water utilities and the connection/sizing restrictions are consistent with Chapter 6 of the Comprehensive Plan and the Board of Supervisors’ findings regarding 15.2-2232 of the Code of Virginia.

9.      No additional connections to the constructed sewer service line for the high school shall be allowed within the New Baltimore Service District.

10.  The applicant shall provide buffering such as, but not limited to, vegetation or another equally acceptable method on the perimeter boundary of all outdoor competition recreation areas that directly abut adjacent properties.  The proposed method of buffering shall be depicted on the final site plan.  The applicant shall also maintain, to the greatest extent possible, the existing vegetation in these perimeter areas.

11.  The applicant shall provide emergency access to all athletic fields that are not directly accessible from parking areas or internal school road network.  The emergency access location and design shall be reviewed and approved by the County Engineer and the Office of Emergency Services prior to approval of the final site plan.

12.  The applicant shall satisfy and meet the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) requirements for all roadway improvements for the approved use. 

13.  The applicant shall design and construct all off-site roadway improvements essential to the high school’s opening as required by VDOT.

14.  The roadwork shall consist of, but is not limited to: frontage improvements on Rogues Road, as well as separate infrastructure plans for intersection improvements and signalization at the Route 605 intersections with Riley Road and Rogues Road pursuant to VDOT requirements and specifications.

15.  The length of necessary turn lanes will be determined by VDOT and County staff during the final site plan review.

16.  Entrance and frontage requirements shall meet VDOT standards. 

17.  The Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority (WSA) requires that water system modeling shall be finalized to determine whether the New Baltimore Water System can provide adequate flow, or whether on-site fire storage or system upgrades may be needed to provide required fire flows prior to site plan approval.

18.  Proof of provisions for adequate fire flow, as outlined by the Office of Emergency Services, shall be required with the first submission of the final site plans.

19.  The WSA requires an analysis to be performed of its sewage collection system and the Brookside Pump Station and force main, to determine whether the additional flows generated by the school will require any upgrades to the sewer system.

20.  The expense associated with the water and sewer system extensions and/or system upgrades made necessary by this project shall be borne by the School Board and shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the WSA’s Utility Standards Manual (USM).

21.  All applicable State and Federal permits shall be filed with the first submission of the final site plan.  This includes the COE/DEQ wetlands permit.

22.  Soils that are characterized as being hydric, having hydric inclusions or a high water table are generally not suited for dry ponds due to the fact that these ponds cannot be kept dry year round.  It is advisable to not utilize dry ponds for SWM/BMP in these areas.

23.  The toe of the embankment and all drainage structures shall be 25 feet from the property line.  This area is to have no trees or woody vegetation.  Landscaping shall not be in this area.

24.  All travelways shall be a minimum of 20 feet wide unless approved otherwise by VDOT and the County.

25.  Any off-site easements (grading, utility, etc.) shall have to be acquired prior to final site plan approval.

26.  Light poles and retaining walls shall be restricted to no closer than 100 feet from the property lines, per Section 5-502 of the Zoning Ordinance.

27.  With the approval of this Special Exception Amendment, future renovations, minor additions or minor improvements to school facilities shall be allowed to proceed as Site Plan Amendments.

28.  The emergency access road shall be clearly labeled on all plans to be privately maintained as it will not meet the requirements to be accepted for state maintenance.

29.  The proposed emergency access road is for emergency services and public safety vehicles to enter the Kettle Run High School/Greenville Elementary School campus, and to allow evacuation of the schools, in the event that Academic Avenue is not available.  The combined WSA access/emergency access road entrance on Route 602 will remain barred by a gate which can be opened only by WSA and authorized emergency and public safety responders; the Route 602 entrance will not be accessible to the public.  The emergency access road continuation beyond the WSA site will be barred by an additional gate which can be opened only by emergency and public safety responders.

In addition to the above, the following additional conditions pertain solely to the two athletic facilities at the front of the site:

30.  The two athletic practice fields along the Rogues Road frontage shall not have any lighting.

31.  The trees east of the tennis courts will be preserved to the maximum extent possible.

32.  The two athletic practice fields shall not be used for competition events.

33.  Although Zoning Ordinance Section 5-504 requires the fencing of all outdoor recreation facilities, if a text amendment is approved that removes this requirement, the applicant shall be subject to the new regulations and not have to fence the two new athletic practice fields.

34.  There shall be no artificial surfaces or hardscaped surfaces on the two new fields.

35.  There shall be no inground irrigation of the two new fields.

36.  Organic low nitrogen fertilizers and organic pest control shall be used on the two new fields.

37.  All fill slopes shall be permanently vegetated with special native erosion inhibiting plant mix and stabilization matting.

38.  All fill slopes shall be installed at a 5:1 most desirable; or 3:1 minimum.

39.  All toe of fill slopes shall be a minimum of twenty (20) feet from the FEMA 100-year floodplain.

40.  Fill slope area vegetation shall be allowed to fill in to achieve a natural state rather than be mowed and routinely maintained.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:   

Conduct a public hearing and consider adopting the attached resolution or alternate resolution.


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

Department of Emergency Services
Department of Water and Sanitation Authority
Fauquier County School Board



     1.   Statement of Justification

     2.   Special Exception Plat


Back to Agenda...