Meeting Date:

Brookside Communities, LLC

Brookside Development, LLC

R.G. Holdings, LP and Others

March 18, 2002

Staff Lead:



Frederick P.D. Carr

Community Development


Topic: Brookside Farm (Waterfield) Proffer Statement Revision, Including Requested Modifications, PR 01-S-02


A.     Background Information.  The entire project area of Brookside Farm and Brookside encompasses approximately 1,060 acres.  The former Waterfield project (+ 440 acres) is now named Brookside Farm, while the second project element is called Brookside (+ 620 acres), and that includes the R.G. Holdings (Gerber tracts) and all other new property additions.  The applicant has also presented the following applications to the County in June 2001 for review and action as a master planned community: 

1.      An amendment to the Comprehensive Plan in order to expand the AB-1 WSA Public Sewer & Water Phase I Area into Brookside;

2.      Proffer Amendments to the Approved Waterfield Rezoning, Including Modifications to Neighborhood, Traditional and Village Alley Lot Dimensions;

3.      Special Exception approval to reduce the required amount of open space in an R-1 clustered subdivision for Brookside;

4.      Special Exception approval for floodplain uses and to construct two roadway crossings in the floodplain.  This special exception applies to the Brookside Farm and Brookside properties;

5.      Special Exception approval to construct utility structures for sewer, gas and electric for both project areas;

6.      Preliminary Plat approval for the entire combined residential development of Waterfield and Brookside for a total of 942 single-family residential lots. 


·        Subdivision Status.  Thirty-three lots have been approved through the final plat process; another fifty lots were separated from the Brookside preliminary plat.  The Board of Supervisors denied the latter plat; however, the applicant can proceed with final engineering and platting if the reasons for denial are resolved.  The eighty-three lots range in size from 25,000 square feet to over one acre in size, and are planned to be served through individual drainfields.  Including these lots result in a total of 975 single-family lots within the overall project. 

·        Preliminary Plan Action.  This application is not subject to the public hearing.  Its overall design is dependent upon the approval of the preceding applications outlined in 1-5 being approved.   

Master Planned Community Package 

The applicant requested, at the time of their original filing with the County, that the six previously referenced applications proceed to the Board of Supervisors as a comprehensive package.  Even though this series of applications had a Planning Commission public hearing in September of 2001, the applicant did not initiate any substantive revisions to this package until early December 2001.  Since September 2001, the Planning Commission considered the entire package incomplete, and had identified a long list of issues that needed resolution, along with a series of recommended refinements.   

The Planning Commission had to act on this series of applications at its December 2001 meeting.  Its allowable review time, under mandatory Zoning Ordinance and Code of Virginia requirements, had expired.  Relief from the action deadline of ninety-days could occur only if the applicant granted a postponement.  No postponement request was offered.   As a result, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny all the applications for the reasons cited in the December 20th staff report and in the two denial resolutions.  That information can be provided to the Board of Supervisors upon request; however, that report is now dated, due to ongoing project changes filed on March 1, 2002.  

B.   No-Change Option v. Proposed Master Planned Community.   At present, the approved 667 residential unit Waterfield rezoning is not well integrated into the adjoining neighborhoods, exacerbates traffic problems and provides no alternative relief from future resident reliance on Lake Drive, Riley Road and Shepherdstown Road as the principle access points.  The existing option provides the County with no assured interconnection between Waterfield and the Vint Hill Parkway. 

Note that the Brookside element  (R.G. Holdings and other properties), which are not part of the Waterfield project, are currently zoned R-1 (one dwelling unit/acre) and could yield approximately 175 homes using drainfields through the conventional (“by-right”) subdivision approval process.  This process includes Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors review and action on the preliminary subdivision.  Hence, Waterfield and the referenced properties could currently yield up to 842 homes by right, subject to meeting all County ordinance and state permitting requirements.  That is +133 homes less than the current proposal before the County for approval action. 

As indicated at the Planning Commission sessions, the denial of all the proposed applications for Brookside Farm and Brookside eliminates several key opportunities, whose community-wide benefits need to be weighed carefully.  The combined and pending project proposals have offered a master plan which presents prospects for improved distribution of traffic and transportation access, open space and parks, pedestrian trails and linkages to existing neighborhoods, provision of a middle school site within the neighborhoods served, expansion and improvements to a dated wastewater treatment facility at Vint Hill.  

There were a series of unresolved issues at the Planning Commission level, which need far more thorough review and discussion between the Board of Supervisors and the applicant.  Those issues are the: 

·        Timing and location of all road improvements needed to meet and resolve the traffic impacts of the entire master planned community, and not timed to just one project neighborhood (for example, just Waterfield); 

·        Development of a program delivering the Vint Hill Parkway from the planned Vint Hill traffic circle to Riley Road much earlier in the overall development program; 

·        Solving the construction traffic issue, and diverting that traffic from using Lake Drive and Sherpherdstown Road; 

·        Retaining the fifty-foot perimeter Brookfield Farm (Waterfield) project buffer as originally approved.  That original buffer was located between the proposed lot and the project property line, and resulted in a seventy-five-foot setback and homeowner association maintenance within the fifty-foot easement, with no lot owner obstructions.  The current proposal included this easement within only the lot area; 

·        Establishment of parks and open space linkages to this project, Vint Hill and the adjoining and existing neighborhoods with a system of trails and bikepaths providing public access; 

·        Provision of public access to the lakes in Brookside Farm; 

·        Provision of proper essential repairs for dam structures, as appropriate, to assure their effective long-term functions; 

·        Reduction in open space for the Brookside residential subdivision justified clearly; 

·        Clear justification of the Brookside Farm requested modifications, which promote more traditional neighborhoods, including graphics portraying the lot dimensions, setbacks, house and garage locations.  The Zoning Ordinance indicates that the applicant must demonstrate that these modifications “will satisfy public purposes of the ordinance and regulations to at least an equivalent degree;” and 

·        Submission of the mandatory plans for architectural controls and design standards, which shall govern the development and construction of improvements on the property.  Such plans are required through the Zoning Ordinance, and must be presented and approved as part of the rezoning. No such plans have been filed. 

The Applicant submitted the revised Proffer Statement and associated Concept Development Plan on March 1st for County review.  Preliminary staff review regarding the latter issues and the referenced Proffer Statement revisions is included as Attachment 


Next Step:  Recommend that the public hearing remain open and the applicant be directed to modify the application as suggested in the staff report, with any additional Board of Supervisors’ comments or direction as appropriate. Postpone final action until the April 15, 2002 Board of Supervisors meeting.  Such action is essential since the Proffer Statement and associated application materials for Brookside Farm (Waterfield) have major deficiencies; Refer to Attachment 1 (Staff Report) for the details. 

Special Concern: The “Entire Project” has not and needs to meet its established transportation improvement, school and other impact requirements, and coordinate and upgrade the pending applications.  Since December, the applicant has had significant time to revise the Proffer Statement, Concept Development Plan and other application elements. Detailed staff and Planning Commission reports, identifying deficiencies and providing recommendations, have been provided at discrete stages of the review process. 

After the Planning Commission process concluded, staff was optimistic that there were going to be substantive applicant changes to the project, quality control review and document coordination, and numerous discrepancies and errors corrected.  The expectation was that the revised materials would be the applicant’s final product proposals for public hearing and Board of Supervisors action.  However, not much has changed in quality or substance, even with the revised official documents and the materials filed on March 1st.  The documents recently received have major inconsistencies, ordinance and code problems, and lack the details which are essential and required as part of the Planned Residential Development (PRD).  Staff simply is not confidant that the applicant is empowered to or can resolve the issues identified here or in the subsequent sections by April 15th.


Attachment 1