Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Thelma Monroe Estate (Owner)
Jacqueline D. Leopold, Executor (Applicant)


February 18, 2010

Staff Lead:


Bonnie Bogert, Planner II

Community Development


Magisterial District:                                                                                                              PIN:

Cedar Run                                                                                                          7824-56-5973-000 


Service District:



A Resolution to Approve SPEX10-CR-010: Category 20 Special Exception to Allow for an Alternative Sewage Disposal System with a Discharge to Replace an Existing Failed Drainfield System – Cedar Run District


Topic Description:

The applicant wishes to obtain approval of a Category 20 Special Exception to allow for an individual sewage discharge system to remediate an existing failed drainfield system. This request is to serve a single-family residence. The proposed system is a Delta Manufacturing Aerobic Treatment Unit with a design flow of 450 gallons per day (gpd) that will discharge to an unnamed tributary of Rock Run. The applicant’s Statement of Justification is included as Attachment 1. The installation of this system requires approval of a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), as well as a Virginia Department of Health (VDH) permit for the approval of the sewage treatment portion of the system. The Applicant is in the process of pursuing these permits concurrent with the Special Exception approval process; however, these permits cannot be issued until Special Exception approval is granted.

Location,  Zoning and Current Land Use:

The subject property is located on the northeast side of Warrenton Road (Route 17) near Goldvein. The 2.31-acre parcel is zoned Commercial-Village (CV).  The site contains one residence. Adjoining properties to the north and east are zoned a combination of Village (V) and Commercial-Village (CV). Adjoining properties to the south and west are zoned Village (V) and Rural Agriculture (RA). The current use of the subject property is residential, and there are a combination of residential, civic, and commercial uses in the area.  


Comprehensive Plan/Land Use:

This property is located within the Village of Goldvein. Almost all of the County’s villages are currently zoned for residential development, with a nominal amount of commercial development. One of the strategies for the Villages is that the County should consider evaluating the Village Commercial zoning category to allow, for example, a residential component above retail uses, as well as small-scale bed and breakfasts.

Site Suitability/Environment:

The site contains poor conditions for septic development.

Historic Resources:

While the area of Goldvein has a rich history, this parcel is not located within a rural historic district, although some adjoining parcels have historic structures located on them that are significant to the community. For example, Grove Baptist Church is adjacent to the subject parcel.

Special Exception Analysis:

The following Zoning Ordinance and County Code sections apply to this request:

Section 5-006: General Standards for Special Permits and Special Exception Uses

1.      The proposed use shall be such that it will not adversely affect the use or development of neighboring properties. It shall be in accordance with the applicable zoning district regulations and the applicable provisions of the adopted Comprehensive Plan. The location, size and height of buildings, structures, walls and fences, and the nature and extent of screening, buffering and landscaping shall be such that the use will not hinder or discourage the appropriate development and/or use of adjacent or nearby land and/or buildings or impair the value thereof.

The site is planned and zoned for Village Commercial use. An individual sewage disposal system with a discharge would not be allowed for a new commercial use and thus continuance of a residential use if a discharge system is allowed is the only viable option for this site. Continuing the existing use will not affect the development or value of neighboring properties.

2.      The proposed use shall be such that pedestrian and vehicular traffic generated will not be hazardous or conflict with the existing and anticipated traffic in the neighborhood and on the streets serving the site.

The proposed use will not generate additional traffic.

  1. In addition to the standards which may be set forth in this Article for a particular category or use, the BZA and Board may require landscaping, screening, yard requirements or other limitations found to be necessary and appropriate to the proposed use and location.

The requirement to provide additional screening is not relevant to this request.

  1. Open space shall be provided in an amount at least equal to that specified for the zoning district in which the proposed use is located.

Open space is not required for this proposed use.

5.      Adequate utility, drainage, parking, loading, and other necessary facilities to serve the proposed use shall be provided. Low impact development techniques are encouraged by the County and shall be incorporated into the site and facility design when deemed appropriate by the applicant after consultation with appropriate county officials. Parking and loading requirements shall be in accordance with the provisions of Article 7.

Proposed use is not development but a remediation of a failed drainfield.

6.      Signs shall be regulated by the provisions of Article 8, except as may be qualified in the parts that follow for a particular category or use. However, the BZA and the Board, under the authority presented in Section 007 below, may impose more strict standards for a given use than those set forth in this Ordinance.

Any signs will be in accord with the Zoning Ordinance.

7.      The future impact of a proposed use will be considered and addressed in establishing a time limit on the permit, if deemed appropriate. Existing and recent development, current zoning and the Comprehensive Plan shall be among the factors used in assessing the future impact of the proposed use and whether reconsideration of the permit after a stated period of time would be necessary and appropriate for the protection of properties in the vicinity and to ensure implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.

The Planning Commission recommended the addition of a condition which will impose a requirement to renew this Special Exception periodically to ensure that the sewage disposal system is being operated and maintained in accord with VDH and DEQ regulations.

8.      The proposed use shall be such that air quality, surface and groundwater quality and quantity, are not degraded or depleted to an extent that would hinder or discourage the appropriate development and/or use of adjacent or nearby land and/or buildings or impair the value thereof.

The discharge from the system will be treated to DEQ and VDH acceptable levels, and should not hinder development or lower the value of nearby land and/or buildings.

9.      Except as provided in this Article, all uses shall comply with the lot size, bulk regulations, and performance standards of the zoning district in which located.

All uses will comply with the Commercial-Village (CV) zoning district.

Section 5-2002.5: Standards for all Category 20 Uses

Section 5-2002.5 of the Zoning Ordinance requires 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 that is presently serving an existing use.

The applicant contacted all adjacent property owners to inquire about the possibility of obtaining an easement on their property so that the drainfield could be located on their parcel. All adjoining property owners declined to grant such permission to the applicant. The Virginia Department of Health has certified that the existing system poses a real or potential health threat and has provided written documentation to Fauquier County and the Applicant in January 2010 that the discharge permit is the only option on this site (Attachment 3). In approving such a system, the Board of Supervisors may establish conditions including but not limited to use, maintenance, and testing.

Fauquier County Code Section 17-17

Section 17-17 of the Fauquier County Code requires notification of all downstream property owners for a distance of one mile. This is the responsibility of the applicant, and letters are required to be sent no later than five days prior to the Board of Supervisors’ public hearing. The applicant has complied with this requirement and sent notification letters via certified mail to all downstream property owners within one mile of the subject property.

Staff and Review Agency Comments:

Staff and Review Agency Comments are included in Attachment 4.

Planning Commission Action: 

On January 28, 2010, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of this Special Exception subject to the conditions included in the resolution.


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:

Virginia Department of Health

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality


1.      Statement of Justification

2.      Special Exception Plat

3.      Letters from Health Department and Authorized On-Site Soil Evaluator (AOSE)

4.      Staff and Review Agency Comments

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