Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Robert H. Estep


March 15, 2004

Staff Lead:



Chuck A. Floyd, Senior Planner

Community Development


Magisterial District:








A Resolution Approving WAVR04-MA-026:  Waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.C to Allow a Reduction in Right-of-Way Width


Topic Description:


The Applicant is seeking a waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.C, Limitations, regarding the minimum private street width requirement of fifty (50) feet. The reason for this request is the location of the existing fifty (50) foot private access easement is causing a hardship on the use of Mr. Estep’s parcel.  The Applicant’s parcel has dimensional restraints.  Mr. Estep’s parcel is ±122 feet at its widest, and is ±118 feet at the narrowest point.  This easement and the required fifty (50) foot building set-back result in a seventy five (75) foot encumbrance along the entire length of the property, resulting in approximately 40 percent of his ±30,056 square foot lot being unusable.  The Applicant is requesting this waiver to allow for the expansion of the existing house and to locate accessory structures on the property.  The property has no further potential to be subdivided.


The existing easement is serving only two (2) properties.  One is Mr. Estep’s parcel (PIN# 6962-57-8375-000); the other is owned by William and Cheryl McMullen (PIN# 6962-67-0356-000).  According to the letter provided in Attachment 1, Mr. and Mrs. McMullen do not object to the proposed reduction in the easement’s width.  The Applicant’s Statement of Justification is included as Attachment 2 A waiver plat is incorporated as Attachment 3.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the attached resolution.

Planning Commission Action:


On February 19, 2004, the Planning Commission considered the request and recommended approval of the Applicant’s waiver of Section 7-302.1.C of the Zoning Ordinance, subject to the following conditions:


1.      This Waiver is granted for and runs with the land indicated in this application and is not transferable to other land;


  1. This Waiver is granted only for the purpose(s), structure(s), and/or uses indicated on the Waiver Plat approved with the application, as qualified by these development conditions;


  1. An Easement Plat depicting the new width, approved by the Fauquier County Chief of Planning shall be recorded within two (2) years of the approval of this waiver.  If an Easement Plat is not recorded within this time frame, the Waiver will become null and void; and


  1. The Easement shall have a minimum width of twenty (20) feet and shall encompass the existing entrance.

Property Location, Area and Zoning:

As seen on the following location map, the subject property is located on the east side of Springs Road (Route 802) north of its intersection with Turnbull Road (Route 683), in the Village of Turnbull.  The property is zoned Village (V).  All surrounding properties are also zoned Village. The property is ±0.69 acres, and has no further subdivision potential.

Location Map



Summary Staff Report:


Section 7-302.1.C of the Zoning Ordinance requires that a private street have a minimum width of fifty (50) feet.  However, the Board of Supervisors has the authority to modify this limitation provided the applicant can show that:


1.      No other remedy is realistically feasible;

2.      Plausible alternatives have been exhausted;

3.      To not so modify the applicable limitation would place an unreasonable restriction on the use of the property; and

4.      Properties through which access is planned will not be unreasonably affected.

Due to the small rectangular shape of the subject parcel, to not modify the applicable limitation would place an unreasonable restriction on Mr. Estep’s use of the property.  The fifty (50) foot easement creates two (2) front yards, with each having a required Zoning Ordinance setback of fifty (50) feet from the centerline of the road or easement.  These setbacks restrict the property in such a manner that the Applicant cannot use a majority of his property.  Reducing the easement width to twenty (20) feet will eliminate the front yard setback requirement on the north side of the property.  The setback requirement would become the standard side-yard setback in the Village zoning district, which is fifteen (15) feet.  Approval of such a waiver would allow the Applicant the ability to expand or renovate the existing structure on his property.  The Applicant would, possibly, then be able to locate accessory structures (shed, garage, etc) on the property, which he indicated was his wish in his Statement of Justification found in Attachment 2.

The parcel in question does not have the ability to be subdivided, so no adjoining or surrounding property will be adversely affected by the reduction.  Also the only property that could be unreasonably affected by the reduction is the property owned by Mr. and Mrs. McMullen, and as they stated in their letter dated August 4, 2003, they have no objection to the requested easement width reduction.  All other alternatives have been exhausted, and it appears that no other solution is realistically feasible.

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

William and Cheryl McMullen, the adjacent property owners who have access to the easement.




  1. Adjoining Property Owners (McMullen’s) Letter
  2. Statement of Justification 
  3. Waiver Plat