WHEREAS, Great Meadow Foundation, owner and applicant, is seeking Category 9 Special Exception approval to renew a previously approved Special Exception for outdoor events and Special Permit on the parcels known as PINs# 6978-96-2610-000 and 6988-04-7000-000; and

WHEREAS, on February 28, 2008, the Fauquier County Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed Special Exception and Special Permit and recommended approval of the applications, subject to conditions; and

            WHEREAS, on March 13, 2008, the Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing and considered written and oral testimony; and

            WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors has determined that the applications satisfies the standards of Zoning Ordinance Articles 5-006, 5-901 and 5-910; now, therefore, be it

            RESOLVED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 13th day of March 2008, That SEAM08-SC-002 and SPPT08-SC-029 be, and are hereby, approved, subject to the following conditions:

1.      Events at Great Meadow Foundation shall be consistent with the mission of the non-profit organization: the mission is the preservation of open space at Great Meadow for equestrian and field sports, youth and community activities. 

2.      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  and no more than one event per month (except in July when two Class A events may be held).

3.      Class A events shall be limited to equestrian, family, picnic, community, historical, or agricultural demonstration events.

4.        Class A Events may consist of but shall not be limited to:

·         Virginia Gold Cup (Spring)

·         International Gold Cup (Fall)

·         4th of July Celebration (includes daytime tethered Hot Air Balloons & evening Fireworks)

5.      No more than nine (9) Class B events shall be held in a year such as but not limited to:

·         Professional bull riding/rodeo

·         Cross Country Championships

·         Track Meet

6.      Unlimited Class C events may be held throughout the year such as but not limited to:

·         Sports clinics and sports day camps

·         Special interest clinics and day camps

·         Local schools sports club practice and meets (cross county track, lacrosse, rugby and soccer)

·         Equestrian Activities: clinics, steeplechase, shows, trail rides, and polo

·         Dog Events: shows, trials and demonstrations, search and rescue tracker dog training, and Basset hound hunting

·         Community Activities: meetings, festivals, and picnic/dinner outings

·         Educational uses: Astronomy club night sky watch, rocket club, art class, nature walks, school field trip visits to site, and environmental education activities

·         Historical Reenactments

·         Flower/plant shows

·         Pony club Activities

·         Weddings

·         Various social events, receptions

7.      Special Permit approval allows for the following Class C events to exceed three (3) days in duration:

·         Model Rocketry Launch Demonstration (1 week duration)

·         Middleburg Horse Show (1 week duration)

8.      Special Permit approval allows for the following Class C events to exceed 1000 attendees:

·         Twilight Polo (Memorial Day through September on Saturday evenings)

·         Grass polo events during summer months

·         Model Rocketry Launch Demonstration

9.      There shall be no midways or motorized (automobile) events.  Static displays of vehicles shall be allowed.

10.  All events shall comply with the appropriate local, state and federal regulatory agencies permit requirements.

11.  All plans for and activities conducted on the property during each event shall be as authorized by GMF as Fauquier County licensee within provisions of Category 9 of the Zoning Ordinance.

12.  The applicant shall comply with all appropriate local, state and federal permits and regulations for its events.

13.  The majority of activities occur during daylight hours, with the exception of Twilight Polo and other occasional events.  If lighting is required it shall comply with Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance standards and shall be turned off by 11:00 p.m.

14.  Gates shall close at 12:00 a.m. with the exception of the private night sky watch events which are limited in attendance to (private club members) and extend through darkness hours.

15.  No Class A or Class B events shall take place on Property B (Fleming Farm Property).

16.  Sound

a.                   The General Grounds Sound System (the largest sound system on the premises) incorporating the Stewards Stand System, the Members Hill System and the Course Perimeter System shall not be used at more than three events per year.

b.                  The Stewards Stand system may be used for any Class A, B or C event.

c.                   Members Hill and/or Arena/Stadium Sound Systems may not be used more than eight days per month.

d.                  Members Hill and/or Arena Sound Systems may be used after 6:00 P.M. only one night per week and only during the months of April through November, except this limitation shall not apply to the 4th of July, the Spring and Fall Gold Cup Races and the Special Exception horse show.

e.                   No sound system will be activated prior to 8:00 A.M. or remain active after 11:00 P.M. or after the permitted event has ended.

f.                   Sound systems (excepting small individual portables) may only be used at events, except briefly for sound testing purposes.

g.                  Sound systems may not be expanded or enlarged so as to increase the decibel level or area of coverage beyond that which exists as of the date of the granting of the original special exception approval.

h.                  Cannon sounds are only allowed during historical reenactments.

i.                    Amplified music is prohibited except during Spring and Fall Gold Cup Races, 4th of July, polo or wedding events (at weddings music shall be allowed inside tent or building only).


17.  Lighting

a.                   No 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 shall be further regulated as follows:

·         Arena/Stadium lights shall be used for events and shall be extinguished no later than 11:00 P.M.

·         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 and lighting for recreational polo league play (lights shall be extinguished by 9:00 P.M.).

·         There shall be no expansion of the existing arena/stadium lighting system.

b.                  All lights will be shielded so that the source of light is not visible beyond the property boundary.

c.                   Any replacement or installation of outdoor lighting fixtures or standards during the term of this Special Exception must comply with the most current Performance Standards for Outdoor Lighting Control as contained in Article 9 of the Zoning Ordinance.

18.  The arena/stadium will only be used for equestrian and/or animal (non-human) oriented events throughout the year.

19.  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 local, state or federal law enforcement agency, or for spraying purposes.

20.  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.

21.  Building Limits

a.                   Total permitted structures on the premises shall not exceed 20,000 square feet in area.

b.                  Any structures must comply with Fauquier County building codes and building permit requirements.

c.                   All structures shall be constructed of materials and colored so as to harmonize with the natural landscape.

d.                  Additional permanent structures built on the premises shall be restricted to the not-to-exceed amount of 20,000 square feet and those necessary for maintenance and security of the site.

22.  Transportation

a.                   The applicant shall comply with all requirements of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and reimburse VDOT for use of equipment.

b.                  Traffic control for all events having anticipated attendance in excess of 2500 persons must be coordinated with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Department.

23.  Health

The applicant shall comply with all requirements of the Fauquier County Health Department including fire safety.

24.  Public Safety

All Class A, B & C events shall be approved in advance by the Office of Emergency Services, Health Department, Sheriff’s Office and VDOT in compliance with Sections 5-914.6, 5-915.6 and 5-916.6 of the Zoning Ordinance.  In its submittal to the Zoning Administrator, the applicant shall specify the type and number of rescue equipment, public safety personnel, traffic control, security and on-site sanitary and refreshment facilities required for each event 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.

25.  Other Permits

The 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.

26.  Terms

This Special Exception and Special Permit are 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, and henceforth shall then be subject to five (5) year administrative renewals by the Zoning Administrator.  In addition to the procedures and standards set forth in Section 5-012 of the Zoning Ordinance for administrative renewals, if the Zoning Administrator finds that practices have changed character and there are new impacts, the Special Exception and Special Permit shall be required to go back to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

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