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.
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.