Board of Supervisors Meeting  Date: 


Raymond E. Graham, Vice-Chairman, Cedar Run District Supervisor

February 18, 2010


Staff Lead:




Kristen Slawter, Senior Planner


Community Development


Magisterial District:                                                                           Village Service Districts:

Cedar Run                                                                                  Catlett, Calverton, and Midland                                                                                                           



An Amendment to Comprehensive Plan Chapter 6 – Service Districts – Catlett, Calverton, and Midland Village Service District Plan (CPAM08-CR-005)


Topic Description:


The primary focus of the 2008-2009 Comprehensive Plan update for the communities of Catlett, Calverton, and Midland was to bring the community and the plan up-to-date with the latest state regulations for wastewater treatment facilities.  At this time, Fauquier County has used up all of its allotted treatment plant permits for wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) located in Remington, Marshall and Vint Hill.  This means the County can no longer build a treatment facility to service Catlett, Calverton, and Midland.  The County may have other options to service these three communities, but any sewage treatment system would be extremely limited and will likely be so small that the adopted land use plans of these three communities cannot be fully realized.

In lieu of a wastewater treatment plant to service the communities, six other possibilities for wastewater treatment exist and these are highlighted in the Utility Element of the Draft Plan.  One or more of these options may have to be employed if the County wants these three communities to receive health remediation benefits and develop further: 1) Land-application system(s); 2) On-site health remediation of individual drainfields; 3) Small, wastewater treatment system up to 40,000 gallons per day (gpd) for Midland; 4) Running a collection system to treat effluent at the Remington WWTP; 5) Partner with Quantico Marine Corps Base to upgrade its WWTP and negotiate the use of some of this capacity;  6) Seek approval from the Virginia General Assembly to build a treatment system for discharge.  The last two options would require the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors to petition the Virginia General Assembly to seek an exception from State wastewater treatment regulations, including those pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Initiative and the Occoquan Policy. 

Starting in January 2008 and concluding in October 2008, County staff held information sessions with local citizens to discuss changes to the land use plan.  Cedar Run District Supervisor Raymond Graham asked the communities to consider how to down-plan the land use designations and service district boundaries to fit within the following public sewer capacities:  150,000 gallons per day (gpd) for Catlett; 150,000 gpd for Calverton; and 100,000 gpd for Midland.  The Citizen Committees forwarded a Draft to the Planning Commission for consideration in October 2008.

The following staff report is written in chronological order of events and proposed changes to the three land use plans. 

Citizen Committee Recommendations (January-October 2008):

The local citizens evaluated the adopted sewer service priority maps and land use plans and recommended the following:

·               The Midland group chose to down-plan the residential categories of the land use plan to align with the current zoning designations.  They chose to expand the district boundary to the west slightly for a few parcels, to remove a parcel in the northwest and to keep the sewer service priority area the same.

·               Citizens from Catlett and Calverton understood that the land use plan calls for more development than can be fully realized.  However, they chose not to change the service district boundaries, or the land use designations; they are hopeful that future sewage treatment technology will provide more solutions. As such, the sewer service priority areas remain unchanged for these two communities.

·               All three communities would like the County to develop a transfer of development rights program. Such a plan would allow developers who wish to develop property within designated sewer service areas to pay property owners for their development rights outside the public sewer service area in exchange for higher densities. 

All three districts desire to keep the sewer service priority areas the same as represented in the 2002 Comprehensive Plan.  As stated in the Plan, sewer service priority should first go to existing homes and businesses with the greatest need (i.e., failing drainfields) and infill development next, with a priority placed on commercial development.

The Citizen Draft emphasized the value of historic resources including the National Register Historic District in both Catlett and Calverton, and the National Register-eligible district of Midland. Another recommendation is to establish a Germantown-Midland historic settlement area.

Transportation elements of the plan were also discussed at the community meetings.  The top priority for Calverton is to have a signal light installed at Route 28 and Bastable Mill Road.  In addition, all three communities want vehicle speeds to be managed better through the villages.   


Planning Commission Recommendations and Action (from October 2008-April 2009):

After several work sessions, the Planning Commission recommended several refinements to the Citizen Draft that would help meet the task of planning land uses with adequate public utilities.  To this end, the following refinements to the citizens’ draft plan were made:

·         Remove land zoned to the RA/Rural Agriculture District from the service districts, with the exception of a small amount of airport land in Midland.

·         Provide public sewer service for land removed from the district for health remediation.

·         Down-plan land use designations for residential and mixed use categories to one (1) unit per acre.

·         Move the planned school site located on RA zoned land to an area planned for residential neighborhood in Midland.

·         Change Commercial-Highway designations to Mixed-Use in order to promote village-style development.

·          Clearly label areas planned for sewer service, no sewer service, and health remediation.

·         Remove transportation plans that label Route 28 as a 4-lane road, and in some areas, a 6-lane road; plan for a two lane Route 28 with modest improvements over time.

In addition, the Planning Commission concurred with the Citizen Plan on the following noteworthy changes:

·         Revise the Calverton transportation graphic Map CCM-19 to eliminate a northern collector road and determine ways to slow traffic speeds through the villages.

·         Plan for a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program to aid in the development of core areas of the villages while preserving and compensating rural land owners.

Prior to the Planning Commission public hearing in April 2009, staff made a presentation to the community on the above Planning Commission recommendations.  One participant expressed a desire to see Route 28 four lanes while others said they wanted it to remain two lanes.  No one spoke in opposition to the proposed land use changes.

On April 30, 2009, a Planning Commission public hearing was held on the item.  Three people spoke in favor of the Draft, specifically the down-planning of the villages to manageable levels and the plan to have Route 28 remain two lanes.  The Planning Commission made a unanimous recommendation of approval to the Board of Supervisors with an amendment to the text, as discussed in the work session earlier that day, relating to the goal to develop a Transfer of Development Rights program.  The Planning Commision Recommended Draft is listed as Attachment 2 of this report. 

Board of Supervisors Work Session (August 13, 2009):

Staff presented the Planning Commission Draft to the Board of Supervisors in a work session on August 13, 2009 but no further action was taken.

Proposed Changes by Supervisor Graham (February 2010):

After the Board work session in August, and throughout January 2010, Supervisor Graham worked with staff to prepare changes to the Draft as presented in Attachment 1.  Staff also presented the Planning Commission Draft to the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport Committee and received feedback as noted below.  The following highlights the subsequent changes to the Planning Commission Draft, organized by each Village Service District.

All Districts

All areas labeled Mixed Use were changed to Village Mixed Use.  The purpose of this was to draw the distinction with other, larger service districts where “mixed use” can mean higher densities than village service districts can support.  The Village Mixed Use means that a low-intensity mix of commercial and residential is desired, with the idea that residential uses would be limited to one unit per acre unless a transfer of development rights program is employed.


An area designated Rural Agriculture was added to the village service district, north of Route 28, and labeled Village Mixed Use.  The area added runs from the floodplain to the first major gas transmission line, and is approximately 35 acres.

An area planned for park use and located outside the service district requires road frontage on Elk Run Road, so the land use map was changed to the park designation to Elk Run Road.


An area slated for Sewer Health Remediation, across from H.M. Pearson Elementary School on Bastable Mill Road, was added to the village service district and labeled Residential/1 unit per acre. This area is currently zoned Rural Agriculture.  In the same area, a road was added back into the transportation map to take traffic from Casanova Road to Bastable Mill Road.  Supervisor Graham understood from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) that Casanova Road in this location needs to be closed so as not to cause rail and traffic friction at the intersection of Casanova Road and Route 28.

A school site located on Route 28 was moved slightly out of the path of the recently-approved Calverton National Register Historic District.  The school site is not exact, but it could be used as a Middle School in the future to service both Midland and Catlett, with minimal acreage.  A large park is planned near the rear of this school and would provide adequate room for sports fields, if ever developed for such use. 


Community Development staff performed historic deed research to identify the approximate location of the southern-most plots of the Germantown settlement as well as the John Marshall home sites.  Supervisor Graham asked staff to identify this general location as a park for discussion purposes.  It should be noted that the underlying zoning is Industrial.

An area zoned Rural Agriculture, but originally planned for park use in the northwestern quadrant of the village service district, was added back into the service district after being removed by Planning Commission recommendation.

The text was strengthened to communicate how vital it is to retain historic structures within the Midland core area, despite its location at the foot of the airport.  Infill development would be acceptable if it is small-scale, respects existing historic structures and fits in with the character of the area in terms of setbacks and building scale.

Two maps were added to the Plan showing the Fauquier-Warrenton Airport Overlay District and Noise Zone; the text tells the reader that there could be development constraints in this area and that the Zoning Ordinance should be consulted.

Summary and Recommendation:

The difficult task of down-planning three community plans due to a lack of public sewer service now, and into the future, was undertaken by staff with respect for the citizens.  Many meetings were held to explain the challenges and put forth possible options.  Ultimately the Draft presented reduces land area and densities in all three village service districts, while retaining options for modest growth over time.  All three districts are now in line with the maximum population identified for a village service district in the existing Comprehensive Plan, which is no more than 2,500 people at build-out.


   Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

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


1.      Catlett, Calverton, Midland Village Service District Plan Draft (February 18, 2010)

Section 1: Introduction

Section 2: Catlett Village Plan

Section 3: Calverton Village Plan

Section 4: Midland Village Plan

Section 5: Design Guidelines

Section 6: Transportation

Section 7: Public Sewer Utilities

2.    Planning Commission Recommended Draft


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