Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Town of Remington


February 18, 2010

Staff Lead: 


Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning

Community Development


Magisterial District:                                                                                                                PIN:

Lee                                                                                                                       6888-00-1945-000

Service District:



A Resolution to Approve SPEX10-LE-012: Applicant Wishes to Obtain a Category 20 Special Exception to Allow for an Arsenic Removal Facility for the Town of Remington’s Water Supply System (Town of Remington Well No.1)


Topic Description:

The applicant is proposing to add an arsenic removal facility, per the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to an existing well and utility system that supplies water to the Town of Remington.  The EPA is the agency that regulates the arsenic contaminant limits in drinking water.  This is the first special exception required for the use; the Town of Remington Well No. 1 (drilled in the 1950s) predates the Zoning Ordinance.

The proposed arsenic removal facility would also function to remove manganese from the raw water pumped from Town of Remington Well No. 1.  Additions to the site would include a 20’ x 30’ building to house the treatment works, an ingress/egress drive, three (3) parking spaces, and utility piping.  The building design proposed is a fully enclosed pre-stressed concrete structure.

Treated water from the facility would be pumped into the town’s water distribution lines and water tower.  Wastewater from the facility would be discharged to the existing sanitary sewer.  The facility would operate continuously and require one to two attendants per day; the Town of Remington would operate the facility.  The site is estimated to generate a maximum of four trips per day. 

An existing accessory building on the site would be used to store well supplies; no chemicals from the arsenic removal facility would be housed in this structure.  The request includes the provision for a future retrofit of auxiliary power generation equipment.  This would provide a standalone power source for emergency use so the arsenic removal facility and pumps would continue to function during electrical outages.

At a future date the Town of Remington may request a boundary line adjustment between the subject site and an adjoining lot also owned by the town.  According to the applicant’s Statement of Justification, this would yield a better configuration for the adjacent property as a potential building lot.  This request has been accommodated in a Special Exception condition.


Location,  Zoning and Current Land Use:

The property is located at 7267 Fifth Street.  It is zoned Residential-2 (R-2).  A map of the parcel is shown below.




Surrounding Zoning and Current Land Use:

Surrounding properties in this area are zoned R-2 and are in residential use. 

Comprehensive Plan/Land Use:

The site is located in the Remington Service District and is planned for low density residential use.

Public facilities require a Code of Virginia 2232 review to determine if they are in substantial accord with the Comprehensive Plan.  This application seeks to add a component to an existing facility that is part of Town of Remington Well No. 1 and the town’s existing water supply system.  Thus, it is consistent with the adopted Comprehensive Plan as that system is included in the Plan.

Site Suitability/Environment:

This facility will improve the existing water system serving the Town of Remington and bring it into conformance with EPA standards.  This will allow the town to continue to provide a safe and reliable water source for its residents.  The project location adjacent to existing facilities would also minimize construction impacts.

Special Exception Analysis:

The applicant must meet the requirements of Zoning Ordinance Section 5-006, General Standards for Special Exception Uses.  General standards for all Special Exceptions require that the proposed use will not adversely affect the use or development of neighboring properties, will not conflict with existing traffic, and other such criteria to protect the surrounding environment.  In this case, the proposed addition of an arsenic removal facility to an existing well and utility system that supplies water to the Town of Remington, will not cause degradation of the surrounding area or add traffic.  It will improve the environmental quality of the area.

The following applicable standards were used to evaluate this project:

PART 20                                5-2000             CATEGORY 20 PUBLIC UTILITIES

5-2001                         Additional Submission Requirements

In addition to the submission requirements set forth in Section 011 above, all applications for Category 20 uses shall be accomplished by the following:

1.   Four (4) copies of a map showing the utility system of which the proposed use will be an integral part, together with a written statement outlining the functional relationship of the proposed use to the utility system.

2.   Four (4) copies of a statement, prepared by a certified engineer, giving the basic reasons for selecting the particular site as the location for the proposed facility and certifying that the proposed use will meet the performance standards of the district in which located.

The applicant has met the aforementioned criteria with its submittal materials. The Statement of Justification and Special Exception Plat demonstrate the functional relationship of the proposed arsenic removal facility to the overall Town of Remington Water Supply system.

5-2002                         Standards for All Category 20 Uses

In addition to the general standards set forth in Section 006 above, all Category 20 special permit and special exception uses shall satisfy the following standards:

1.      Category 20 special permit and special exception uses shall not be required to comply with the lot size requirements or the bulk regulations set forth for the zoning district in which located in Part 4 of Article 3.  However, such requirements may be established in the conditions under which such a special permit or special exception is granted.

Not applicable to the project.

2.      No land or building in any district other than the Industrial Districts shall be used for the storage of materials or equipment, or for the repair or servicing of vehicles or equipment or for the parking of vehicles, except those needed by employees connected with the operation of the immediate facility.

The existing shed on-site may be used as an accessory structure to house materials needed for the well and water supply use. 

The Zoning Ordinance defines Accessory Use as follows:

ACCESSORY USE:  Accessory uses as permitted by this Ordinance are set forth in Part 1 of Article 6.  An accessory use is a use or building which:

1.   is clearly subordinate to, customarily found in association with, and serves a principal use; and

2.   is subordinate in purpose, area or extent to the principal use served; and

3.   contributes to the comfort, convenience or necessity of the occupants, business enterprise or industrial operation within the principal use served; and

4.   is located on the same lot as the principal use, except any building that is customarily incidental to any agricultural use shall be deemed to be an accessory use whether or not it is situated on the same lot with the principal building.

3.      In all zoning districts, other than the I-2 District, all equipment, machinery and facilities not located within an enclosed building shall be effectively screened.

Applicant has met these standards – all equipment is within an enclosed building. However, since the well and treatment works are located within a residential district, staff would recommend the planting of street trees on Fifth Street as well as shrubs and trees on the perimeter of the property to provide an additional buffer to adjacent properties.

4.      If the proposed location of a Category 20 use is in a Residential  District there shall be a finding that there is no more suitable site available for such use in a Commercial or Industrial District, except that in the case of electric transformer stations and telephone and telegraph exchanges or dial centers, there shall be a finding that there is no alternative site available in a Commercial or Industrial District within distance of one mile, unless there is a substantial showing that it is impractical for satisfactory service to be rendered from an available location in such Commercial or Industrial District.

The project is located within a residential district.  However, the facility would be added to an existing well; and, the EPA has required that the facility be added to this particular well.

Staff 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.

Virginia Department of Health (VDH)

The Virginia Department of Health has no objection to the Special Exception request.  In its review of the application materials, the key issues were: 1) Whether the chemical storage is at least 50’ from all wells, and 2) Whether the waste piping from the Arsenic Removal Facility is at least 50’ from all wells.

  1. Discussions with Town of Remington reveal that two chemicals, Potassium Permanganate (in cans) and 12.5% Sodium Hypochlorite will be stored in the same building that will house the proposed Arsenic Removal Facility (Greensand Filter).  This exceeds the minimum required distance of 50’ to existing well #1, and to all adjacent parcels.


  1. The proposed waste piping to exit the Arsenic Removal Facility exceeds the minimum required distance of 50’ to existing well #1, and to all adjacent parcels except PIN 6888-01-0143.  However, PIN 6888-01-0143 is recorded as receiving water from Town of Remington, and has no record of a Private Well on the parcel; additionally where the Force Main comes within 20’ of this parcel, it will connect with an already existing an approved 6” Sewer Main that is parallel to Fifth Street.

Applicant has met VDH standards.


1.   The subject property is zoned R-2/Residential.  The proposed facilities, related to provision of public water, are allowed in the R-2 zoning district with approval of a special exception and site plan pursuant to Section 3-320.3.

  1. The following Zoning Ordinance standards are applicable:

a.   5-006 General Standards for all Special Exceptions and Special Permits

b.   5-2001 Additional Submission Requirements for Category 20 uses

c.   5-2002 Standards for all Category 20 Uses.

See aforementioned “Special Exception Analysis” section.  Applicant has met these standards.

  1. It was Zoning Staff’s understanding, based on an earlier meeting with the applicant, that the applicant wished to secure approval for a storage structure in addition to the treatment structure; however this is not addressed in the application.  In addition, staff understood that the applicant did not intend to do the extensive improvements, turn-around (wide driveway, 3 parking spaces including handicapped, etc) shown on the plat but had only drawn them because of an understanding they were required.  Suggest the following conditions be included in any special exception approval to allow reduction of the on-site improvements and to allow a shed for storage associated with the utility:

a.       The driveway and parking areas shall be reduced to the minimum size allowed by the County as part of the approval of the site plan for the property.  

b.      In addition to the new building for the water treatment, shown on the plat, a maximum ______ sq. ft. building shall be allowed for storage.

The applicant requested the use of the existing shed in its application.  They do hope to minimize improvements on the site and appreciate the suggested condition.  The two suggestions have been added as Special Exception conditions. 

  1. While the areas labeled lot 34 and lot 33 are represented as a single parcel on the County’s tax map, it may be that they are actually two (2) legal lots of record.   If two legal lots exist, the lot line through the parcel shall be vacated as shown on the SE plat.

Information for the applicant to consider.


Environmental Division

The Environmental Division had no comment for the aforementioned project.

Planning Commission Summary and Action of January 28, 2010:

On January 28, 2010, the Planning Commission held a work session and conducted a public hearing on the proposed Special Exception.  No members of the public spoke at the hearing; the applicant’s representative provided comments.

During the Planning Commission work session, Commissioner Meadows suggested a minor refinement to the Special Exception conditions regarding fencing for the facility, and an amended set of Special Exception conditions was prepared.  The Planning Commission forwarded a unanimous recommendation of approval, subject to that series of Special Exception conditions, to the Board of Supervisors.

Summary and Recommendation:

The applicant is requesting to add an arsenic removal facility, per the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to an existing well and utility system that supplies water to the Town of Remington.  This facility will improve the existing water system serving the Town of Remington; bring it into conformance with EPA standards; and, allow the town to continue to provide a safe and reliable water source for its residents. 

The applicant has met the standards set forth in Zoning Ordinance Sections 5-006 and 5-2001 and 5-2002 (Category 20 Public Utility). 


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:

Town of Remington
Town of Remington Citizens
Department of Community Development
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency



1.         Statement of Justification

2.         Special Exception Plat


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