Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Richard Robison, Center District Supervisor


March  15, 2004

Staff Lead:



Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development


 Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Eliminate Building Material Sales as a Use


Topic Description: 


The proposed text amendment eliminates two use categories from Category 12 of the Zoning Ordinance:  “Building material sales less than one acre (lot area)” (Section 3-312.8) and “Building material sales more than one acre (lot area)” (Section 3-312.9).   With approval of the amendment, retail sales of building material sales would be classified in the future as “retail sales establishment.”


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 


Hold a public hearing on the proposed text amendment and consider adoption of the attached Ordinance.


Financial Impact Analysis:

No analysis was conducted for this proposed amendment.


Summary Staff Report:


Section 3-312 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance lists “Building material sales less than one acre” and “Building material sales more than one acre” as specific commercial retail uses separate from retail sales establishment or shopping center. The Ordinance does not define these building material sales uses. 


The meaning of “building material sales” as a use category was recently raised by Home Depot through a request for interpretation to the Zoning Administrator.  Home Depot asked whether a Home Depot type home improvement store was properly classified as “building material sales” or as “retail sales establishment.”   The Zoning Administrator determined that a home improvement store is properly classified as “retail sales establishment,” and the Board of Zoning Appeals upheld this decision on appeal.  However, on October 31, 2003, the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals and Zoning Administrator were overturned in Circuit Court, with a Home Depot store characterized as “building material sales” under the language of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance. 


This proposed amendment would eliminate the “building material sales” uses as separate uses under the commercial retail category.  Consequently, any future applications for a home improvement type center would clearly be categorized as “retail sales establishment,” and would be subject to the same zoning requirements as any other big box retailer.  A “retail sales establishment” over 75,000 square feet is now only permitted in the C-2 and C-3 zones, and only with approval of a special exception.


The Planning Commission considered the proposed text amendment at their January 29, 2004 meeting and unanimously recommended that the amendment be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for approval.


Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

Board of Supervisors

Economic Development Office