SUPERVISORS PUBLIC HEARING REQUEST
Board Meeting Date:
Outdoors Foundation, and
Consider Special Exception
Request #SER03-S-01: Renewal
of Category 9, Special Exception for Outdoor Recreation, Meadow Outdoors
Meadow is a field events and open space environmental facility near The
Plains, Virginia. It was established in 1983 and has operated successfully
since 1984 as family oriented venue for outdoor spectator and
non-spectator activities. The Meadow Outdoors Foundation (MOF) operates
the facility primarily for the benefit of the
applicant is requesting the renewal of the 5-year Special Exception
granted in December of 1997. This Special Exception allowed for the use of
the property for a variety of Class A, Class B, and Class C events,
subject to the continuation of existing conditions.
Area, Location and Zoning:
subject property consists of ±
209 acres zoned RA (Agricultural). The Meadow Outdoors Foundation owns
approximately 169 acres. The balance, ±
40 acres, is leased by the Foundation from the co-applicant, Arthur W.
Arundel. The property is located in the southeast quadrant of the
intersection of Route 17 and Virginia Route 245 (
Requested of the Board of Supervisors:
adoption of the attached resolution.
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
of the Zoning Ordinance
5-006 of the Zoning Ordinance defines the General Standards that must be
met for all Special Exceptions. All proposed Special Exception uses are
required to also satisfy the following general standards:
addition to these general standards, this Special Exception, if granted,
will require compliance with Sections 5-914, 5-915, and 5-916 of the
Zoning Ordinance. These Sections detail the specific standards for Class
“A, B and C” events respectively. They are summarized for the
Board’s reference and presented as Attachment 2.
Additional Zoning-Related Comments
proposed Special Exception renewal shows no new structures or an increase
in any area as shown with the previously approved Special Exception.
Staff has examined the applicant’s compliance with ordinance
requirements relating to the use of lighting and sound systems. The Zoning
Administrator and several members of the Zoning Office staff agree that
there is no reason to believe that the Great Meadow facility is not in
compliance with the ordinance requirements governing the use of outdoor
lighting and sound systems. While the Zoning staff has not conducted
inspections or testing of lighting and sound equipment at Great Meadow,
they were involved in the original approval of this equipment and have no
reason to believe that it has been altered. The Zoning staff further
reported that the most reliable indicator of problems with lighting and
sound equipment is the number of complaints received from adjacent
property owners. The Zoning Office has received no complaints relating to
the operation of the Great Meadow facility.
Meadow is bordered on the south by Route 17, a four-lane arterial highway,
and on the west by Route 245. Both
provide access to I-66. Traffic management for large events is coordinated
by MOF with the Virginia State Police, Fauquier Sheriff’s Office and
VDOT. Traffic slowdowns are anticipated only during Class “A” events
drawing over 5,000 cars, such as during the Virginia Gold Cup in May and
International Gold Cup in October. Admission from the public highways into
Great Meadow will be directed by the Fauquier Sheriff’s Office. All
traffic and public safety plans and arrangements will be coordinated for
all events by the MOF Public Health and Safety Coordinator with
appropriate public officials. Parking
will not be permitted on public roads or streets.
VDOT Warrenton Residency staff reviewed the above referenced Special
Exception renewal and commented that the
information provided appears to indicate that no changes are being made to
the current usage. The entrances to Route 17 and 245 shown on the proposed
plan already exist and, to VDOT’s knowledge, have been functioning
adequately. The Meadow
Outdoors Foundation has worked with the VDOT office to coordinate events.
and Planning Commission Recommendation:
Great Meadow facility has been operating successfully since 1984.
For the last five years, it has continued to operate successfully
under the conditions imposed by the Board of Supervisors in November of
1997 when the Special Exception was last renewed. The current application
for renewal does not propose any new or expanded activity for the
property, nor does it propose any changes to the current conditions.
However, in order to underscore its concern for the continued compliance
with issues related to lighting, and its concern for best possible control
of traffic at larger events, the Planning Commission has proposed two
additions to the previous Special Exception Conditions. At its regular
The Applicant shall be limited to
an annual total of:
Eight (8) Class A events, of which no more than five (5) shall have
cumulative attendance over 25,000
No more than one of the eight (8)
Class A events shall be held in any one (1) month except in the month of
July in which two Class A events may be held
Nine (9) Class B events
Unlimited Class C events
One Special Exception Horse Show
may be held
outdoor lighting system, other than standard floodlights attached to
permanent structures, may be used on the premises except the lights on the
arena/stadium, which lights shall be further regulated as follows:
Arena/Stadium lights shall be used
for events and shall be extinguished no later than
Arena/Stadium lighting system will
be used no more than four (4) days per month plus ten additional days as
allocated by the applicant and only through the months of April through
November, except for testing purposes.
There shall be no expansion of the
existing arena/stadium lighting system.
All lights will be shielded so
that the source of light is not visible beyond the property boundary.
The arena/stadium will only be
used for equestrian and/or animal (non-human) oriented events throughout
With the exception of during the
4th of July Event, no aircraft or helicopters shall land on the premises
except for health, safety, emergency preparedness at the request of the
State or Federal Law Enforcement Agency, or for spraying purposes.
No fireworks displays will be held
on the premises, except on the 4th of July, and no light displays of any
kind or nature shall be held on the property at any time.
Only one (1) Hot Air Balloon event
is to be included in the number of events allowed under Class A, B or C
held on the premises annually and all balloons on the premises must be
The applicant shall comply with all
requirements of the Virginia Department of Transportation. Traffic
control for all events having anticipated attendance in excess of 2500
persons must be coordinated with the
applicant shall comply with all requirements of the Fauquier County Health
Department including fire safety.
Class A, B & C events shall be approved in advance by the Office of
Emergency Services in compliance with Sections 5-914.6, 5-915.6 and
5-916.6 of the Zoning Ordinance. The applicant shall specify the type and
number of rescue equipment and public safety personnel to ensure that
adequate services are maintained on site at all times. Every effort will
be made to hire local public safety personnel where feasible.
applicant shall apply for no other zoning permit from the Board of
Supervisors and the Board of Zoning Appeals during the term of this
Special Exception, except as necessary to allow one horse show per year
for a maximum duration of five days and a maximum attendance of 5,000
This permit is issued for a period of
five (5) years commencing with the month in which the Board of Supervisors
approves it and ending at the end of that same month five (5) years hence.