Summary Staff Report:
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 available upon request.
Land Area, Location and Zoning
is located in Catlett on Route 640 at 2028 Lawís Ford Road.
The property is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA). An existing
240-foot Virginia Power Transmission Easement and existing
electric transmission facilities are located on the east
side of the proposed 30.63-acre portion of the property,
along with a Virginia Natural Gas transmission easement and
and Code Requirements
The Code of Virginia, Section 15.2-4313, sets forth a
specific procedure that must be followed by a public service
corporation proposing to acquire more than one acre of land
within an agricultural and forestal district.
procedure requires that notice be given to the County, and
that the Board of Supervisors determine the following, in
consultation with the Planning Commission and the
Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee:
(i) the effect the action would have upon the preservation and
enhancement of agriculture and forestry and agricultural and
forestal resources within the district and the policies set
forth in the state code; and
the necessity of the proposed action to provide
service to the public in the most economical and practicable
whether reasonable alternatives to the proposed
action are available that would minimize or avoid any
adverse impacts on agricultural and forestal resources
within the district.
On November 5, 2003, the Agricultural and Forestal Advisory
Board reviewed the proposal, and on November 20, 2003, the
Planning Commission reviewed the proposal. After
recommendation from both advisory committees, on December
15, 2003, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors extended
the review period for DTIís proposal from 90 days to 150
days or until March 30, 2004, so that the County could hold
a public hearing and further review the proposed facility.
At the end of the 150 day period, the Board of Supervisors
must render a final decision as to whether or not the
proposal is approved. Under the State code provision,
Dominion could appeal any decision of the Board of
Supervisors to the Circuit Court.
A Major Site
Plan will be required prior to obtaining building and zoning
permits. The site plan will need to be in general
conformance with the approved Special Exception, provisions
of Article 12 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance and
the bulk regulations for the underlying (RA Agriculture)
subject property is designated as a rural area and is
subject to the Rural Areas Land Use Plan, Chapter Eight, of
the Comprehensive Plan.
Section 15.2-2232 of the Code of Virginia, this application
is required to be determined in substantial accord with the
Comprehensive Plan. The general intent of the Comprehensive
Plan with regard to rural areas is to protect and preserve
farmland, historic sites and open space.
Nine of the Comprehensive Plan addresses public facilities
and utilities goals. These policies state:
All public facilities and utilities should be
designed and developed so as to limit environmental
Gas/petroleum products pipe lines and
electrical transmission lines should be grouped in
designated utility corridors where appropriate to avoid
scattered placement of these utilities in the county; and
Plan for necessary public facilities and
utilities through public and private cooperation within
those areas presently containing services, and to establish
priorities for service implementation in those areas not
The Board of
Supervisors should consider these factors in determining if
this application is in conformance with the Comprehensive
Plan as a public utility.
is zoned Rural Agriculture, and is utilized for agricultural
purposes, planted with soybeans, barley and corn. According
to the applicant, no wetlands or other environmentally
sensitive areas, cemeteries, floodplains, etc. have been
identified on the portion of the property being acquired.
Environmental Assessment prepared for the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission for the project notes:
The site for
the station has soil limitations which include a seasonal
high water table. About 4.1 acres of cropland would be
disturbed by construction of this facility. About 2.2 acres
of farmland would be taken out of production permanently.
The remaining 1.9 acres would be located along the ROW for
the suction and discharge lines associated with this station
and this land could be returned to agricultural use. About
0.8 acre of prime farmland soil would be permanently
disturbed since it would be within the fenced area of the
applicant further notes that they have not applied to remove
the property from the Agricultural and Forestal District
because under the terms of their agreement with the Benders,
all but a 4.5-acre portion of the property will be leased
back to the Benders to be farmed.
The Agricultural and Forestal Advisory Board recommended on
November 5, 2003, that the Board of Supervisors, as part of
any approval, require that the majority of the land be made
available to the Benders for farming as long as the parcel
remains in the Southern Fauquier Agricultural and Forestal
District. This has been addressed in the Special Exception
Summary and Recommendation
The proposed Special Exception, subject to the conditions of
development, is in general conformance with the
Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Staff concurs with
the Planning Commission recommendation of approval.