Owner/Applicant:                                                     Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

St. Leonard ’s Farm, Inc.                                               March 17, 2003

Staff Lead:                                                                 Department:

Robert C. Counts and                                                   Community Development

Richard Calderon                                                        

Magisterial District:  Marshall                                    PIN(s):

Service District: Warrenton *                                     6974-45-6306-000, and a portion of


* This agenda item includes a Comprehensive Plan Amendment initiated by the Board of Supervisors. If approved, it will extend the Service District boundary to include the referenced property.


RZ03-M-09 - The rezoning of approximately 80 acres from R-A to R-1; St. Leonard ’s Farm, Inc., Applicant (as shown in the General Development Plan); and

CPA03-M-10 – A Board initiated Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to permit:

1.      The creation of a municipal park and a municipal boundary adjustment of the Town of Warrenton , on a portion of the St. Leonard ’s Farm;

2.      The clustering of certain permitted development immediately to the west of this park,

3.      The extension of the Warrenton Service District to bring public water and sewer utilities to these two sites; and 

4.      The placement of the farmland balance in a perpetual easement.


Topic Description:

The proposed Rezoning and Plan Amendment reflect a series of planning discussions that have been ongoing for more than a year. These discussions have involved Fauquier County , the Town of Warrenton , and the van Roijen family, owners of St. Leonard ’s Farm. The focus of these discussions was to determine the location of the limited residential development that is allowed, by right, under the current zoning, and to develop a strategy for the permanent preservation of the extensive open space that is present on the St. Leonard ’s Farm property.  Also included in these discussions was the potential for locating a public recreational facility along Route 211, to the west of, and adjacent to, the Town’s wastewater treatment plant. 

In addition to other land use determinations, these discussions resulted in an agreement between the van Roijen family and the Town of Warrenton relating to the identification of a site to be acquired by the Town for its proposed park. The proposed Rezoning and Plan Amendment complement that agreement and will facilitate the objectives of all parties: the van Roijen’s desire to solidify the by right development potential of their property, the Town’s objective of creating a public park, and the County’s goal of preserving a permanent greenway around the Town of Warrenton. The following summary presents the key elements of how these objectives might be mutually realized:

  • Most of the by right development potential of St. Leonard’s Farm, Inc. – 41 of a total of 49 dwellings – would be focused onto 40 acres of a nearly 80-acre parcel (the Subject Property) identified by PIN 6974-45-6306-000, and a portion of 6974-62-2223-000; the balance of the 80 acres would be retained in permanent open space.

·        The Comprehensive Plan Amendment, and the associated extension of the Warrenton Service District boundary to include this acreage, would allow the rezoning from Rural Agriculture (RA) to Residential, R–1 and the provision of public water and sewer service needed for the proposed cluster development.

  • St. Leonard ’s Farm would convey 65 acres of land to the Town of Warrenton for the purpose of creating the planned public recreational facility, which would be located within the extended Town boundary.

  • The Town would be committed to providing public water and sewer to the park site and applicant’s rezoned parcel.

  • The applicant would proffer that the balance of the St. Leonard’s Farm, Inc. (approximately 800 acres on the south side of Route 211) would be placed under an open space easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation; the family would retain the right to subdivide an additional 8 lots in the future, none of which could be less than 50 acres in size.

This strategy and the related agreements are predicated on the County’s agreement to extend the Warrenton Service District Boundary and rezone the Subject Property by May 15, 2003 .

Land Area, Location and Zoning:                                                    

St. Leonard ’s Farm consists of more than 1,000 acres located adjacent to Route 211 at the western boundary of the Town of Warrenton . Approximately 145 acres lie to the north of Route 211. This acreage, to be included in the proposed Plan Amendment, contains the 80-acre Subject Property. It is bordered on the south by Route 211 and on the north by Lower Waterloo Road (Route 680). The balance of the farm’s acreage is located along the south side of Route 211 (which forms its northern boundary). It is bounded on the south by Springs Road (Route 802) and on the east by the Town of Warrenton . The entire property is zoned Rural Agricultural (R-A).

These areas and proposed uses are shown in the following graphic.

Proposed Rezoning and Comprehensive Plan Amendment

St. Leonard ’s Farm  

Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:

The entire property is currently in agricultural use. It is surrounded by land in the RA Zoning District that, with the exception of some large lot residential development to the north along Route 680, is also in agricultural use. 

Action Requested of the Board of Supervisors:

The Board is requested to conduct a public hearing and take action on RZ03-M-09 and CPA03-M-10.

Staff Analysis:

Staff and 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 summarized below. The actual responses from referral agencies are included as attachments.

The Comprehensive Plan

On December 16, 2002 , the Board of Supervisors initiated a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to, in part, address the requirements of this proposal. The Plan Amendment envisions the clustering of 41 dwellings permitted by current zoning onto half of an 80-acre parcel.  This clustering, and the associated retention of open space, would be facilitated by extending the boundaries of the Warrenton Service District to provide sanitary sewer service to the proposed development.

An additional 65-acre parcel is to be conveyed to the Town of Warrenton for the purpose of developing a recreational facility.  The balance of the farm, approximately 800 acres, is to be placed in a perpetual open space easement, to be held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.  This easement specifies that each of the residual 8 lots, permitted by existing zoning, would have a minimum size of 50 acres when subdivision occurs.  The proposal clusters the majority of development to the north of Route 211, but makes no change in overall residential lot totals envisioned by the Comprehensive Plan and allowed by current zoning. This proposal is consistent with the ‘Greenway-Gateway’ proposal of the draft Warrenton Service District Plan that seeks to establish a visible urban/rural boundary on all major roads around the Town.

The St. Leonard ’s Plan Amendment is consistent with ideas and policies generated over the last two years during an ongoing comprehensive review and redrafting of the Warrenton Service District Plan, originally adopted in 1994.  However, critical timelines have required that the Plan Amendments needed to facilitate this proposal must precede the full review of the Service District Plan. The effort to update the Comprehensive Plan will continue.

Engineering Considerations

The Engineering Division has reviewed this proposed rezoning and provided the following comments:

1.      BMP’s will be required for this site.

2.      Major drainage swales, steep slopes, and existing wetlands should be protected to the maximum extent possible.

3.      Placement of fill in the floodplain will require a special exception.

4.      VDOT may request right-of-way dedication along Lower Waterloo Road in areas that are currently less than 50’ wide.

5.      No direct access from the residential component to Route 211 should be allowed.

6.      If the SWM facility is constructed in the location shown, the tree cover in the buffer will be affected.


After reviewing this proposal the County Soil Scientist provided the following comments:

1.      The dominant soil types on this parcel will support this type of proposed land use change.

2.      Many of the soil types on this eighty (80) acre parcel would be considered Prime Agricultural Land (mapping units 16B, 40C, 45B, and 45C).

3.      If this rezoning request is approved, it is highly recommended that a Type I Soil Map be obtained from this office. This action would aid greatly in designing infrastructure and providing optimum building lots and pad sites.

4.      The applicant should state the source and original scale of the soil information provided. The source of interpretive information for each mapping unit, obtained from the “Interpretive Guide to the Soils of Fauquier County, Virginia, 4th Edition—2002” should also be shown.


The VDOT Warrenton Residency staff reviewed this rezoning proposal and provided the following comments:

1.      VDOT is requesting a proffer be incorporated that restricts the access on Route 211 to the one proposed street intersection shown on the above referenced plan.  Any additional entry points would need to meet the minimum required separation for entrances and be able to achieve the minimum required sight distance.

2.      Additional information is needed on the proposed traffic calming measures at the intersection to the subdivision and park entrance.  Any proposed traffic calming would need to be in conformance with VDOT standards in order to accept this street into the Secondary System of State Highways.

3.      The right-of-way may need to be greater than 50 feet to accommodate the road design.

4.      VDOT recommend right-of-way be dedicated along the entire frontage on Route 680 to accommodate a 50-foot right-of-way.

Proffered Conditions

As part of the proposed rezoning, the applicant has offered a number of proffered conditions. The following is a summary of those conditions. The full Proffer Statement is included in this report as Attachment 1.

1.      LAND USE:

1.1.                      Residential development on the Property shall not exceed 41 dwelling units.

1.2.                      Single family detached lot sizes shall be no less than the minimum required for the R-1 zoning classification, and may be developed as conventional or clustered lots, in conformity with the requirements of the Ordinance.

1.3.                      The development shall retain not less than the minimum open space as required for a clustered or conventional development.

2.      BUFFERING:

2.1.                      A 150-foot buffer shall be preserved on the southernmost Property line measured from the edge of existing right-of-way of Route 211, as generally depicted on the Development Plan.

2.2.                      A 100-foot buffer shall be preserved along the northern and western Property lines, measured from the existing Property line, as generally depicted on the Development Plan.

2.3.                      The Applicant shall further maintain a conservation buffer on the Property as otherwise provided in these Proffers.


3.1.                      The Property shall be connected to Town public water and sewer, at the Applicant’s expense.


4.1.                      A homeowners’ association (“HOA”) shall be created and shall be made responsible for the maintenance and repair of all common areas, including any common open space which may be established in accordance with the requirements of the County Zoning Ordinance or these proffers.  The HOA shall be granted such other responsibilities, duties, and powers as are customary for such associations, or as may be required to effect the purposes for which such HOA is created.  Such HOA shall also be granted sufficient powers, as may be necessary, by regular or special dues or assessment, to raise revenues sufficient to perform the duties assigned hereby, or by the documents creating the Association.

4.2.                      In addition to any other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned to it, the HOA shall have title to and responsibility for (i) all common open space areas not dedicated to public use in accordance with these proffers and (ii) any common buffer areas located outside of residential lots.  It shall also have (iii) responsibility for the perpetual maintenance of any entrance feature (subdivision) signs, street, and perimeter or road buffers located within any easements for those purposes to be granted to the HOA. 


5.1.                      Subject to review and approval by the Fauquier County Department of Community Development and the Virginia Department of Transportation ("VDOT"), the Applicant shall dedicate 50’ of its property as right-of-way for a future access road to Route 211, in the general location depicted on the Development Plan, and as the location of that access road across the Property may be finally determined. 

5.2.                      The Applicant shall enter into a separate agreement with the Town of Warrenton with respect to the sharing of costs of construction of any such access road.

5.3.                      Subject to review and approval by the Fauquier County Department of Community Development and the Virginia Department of Transportation ("VDOT"), a traffic-calming device shall be installed on the said future access road at the point of a shared entrance to the Town’s proposed recreation facility on its adjacent land. 

5.4.                      The Applicant shall further maintain on the Property a 250 foot conservation buffer along the common property boundary with the Town; provided that this buffer area shall encompass, and shall not be in addition to, any area to be dedicated or reserved for public street purposes pursuant to these Proffers.

5.5.                      Primary access to the development shall be restricted to a single entrance from the proposed 50’ access road. 

5.6.                      A controlled emergency access fitted with a gate or other control feature acceptable to the Office of Emergency Services shall be provided in a suitable location at the Property line and Lower Waterloo Road .  No residential lots adjoining Lower Waterloo Road shall be permitted direct access to such emergency access.  

5.7.                      Within one year (1) year of completion of a realigned Route 211 median break necessary to accommodate the aforesaid access road, as generally depicted on the Development Plan, the Applicant may connect to a relocated farm entrance road constructed by others, so as to align that entrance with the said median break.  This relocation to the said median break shall be accomplished in order to permit the Applicant to continue agricultural and silvicultural activities on its retained Property.  The Applicant may continue, in its discretion, to use the existing farm road access.

5.8.                      Any additional road improvements that may be necessitated by the development of the property shall be determined at the time of final subdivision approval for that development.

5.9.                      In the event that development is initiated on the Property before the Town commences construction of a road in the right-of-way to be dedicated for public street purposes hereunder, the Applicant shall construct as much of that road as is reasonably necessary to provide access to Old Waterloo Road in substantial conformity with such access as depicted on the General Development Plan, and subject to VDOT’s approval of plans therefore.  Plans for such access shall be approved and bonded prior to the issuance of the first residential occupancy permit for the Property.


6.1.                      St. Leonard’s Farm, Inc. shall convey to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (“VOF”), or such other conservation organization as may be deemed mutually agreeable by the Board and the Applicant, a conservation easement for approximately 800 acres more or less of the Applicant’s Property located in Fauquier County and not including any land to be conveyed to the Town of Warrenton, on the south side of Route 211, which is to be retained by the Applicant and which is not the subject of this rezoning application.  The Applicant shall be entitled to subdivide the 800 acres into no more than eight (8) lots.  The grant of such easement shall be contingent upon the rezoning of the Property as applied for, and shall be recorded within one (1) year from the Final Rezoning of the Property but in any event prior to the subdivision of any of the forty-one (41) lots permitted under Section 1.1 above.  The conservation easement shall be similar in form and content to the draft easement attached hereto and shall be recorded among the land records of Fauquier County . 

Summary and Planning Commission Recommendation:

The proposed Rezoning and Comprehensive Plan Amendment provide a viable means for both the County and the applicant to achieve key land use objectives. For the applicant, the rezoning and the associated amendment to the Comprehensive Plan retain by right development potential while preserving the maximum amount of open space possible. This would be accomplished by bringing public utilities to the site and eliminating the need for well and septic development that would require much more land. For the County, this proposal focuses the applicant’s development in a way that does not increase the by right density, but achieves a long-standing objective of permanently preserving green space around the Town of Warrenton . In addition, the proposed clustering of the residential development rights allows the applicant to transfer unused, but developable land to the Town of Warrenton to facilitate its objective of creating a community recreational facility. 

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on March 13, 2003 . Based on the public input obtained at this hearing, and on staff analysis of the proposed actions, the Planning Commission voted to forward both RZ03-M-09 and CPA03-M-10 to the Board of Supervisors with recommendations of approval, the Rezoning being subject to the proffered conditions. A Resolution approving the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, and an Ordinance approving the proposed Rezoning are included for Board consideration (Attachments 2 and 3, respectively).


  1. Applicant’s Proffer Statement
  2. Resolution Approving CPA03-M-10
  3. Ordinance Approving RZ03-M-09