COUNTY OF FAUQUIER
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS STAFF REPORT
MARCH 18, 2002
PLAN AMENDMENT #CPA00-S-05, SPECIAL EXCEPTION CASES #SE 01-S-14,
#SE01-S-15 and #SE01-S-16
The applicant has indicated that the denial of any one of the components of this application makes the entire series of applications fail, including: the Brookside Farm Proffer Amendment package, Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan for the Extension of Sewer Service, Special Exception for Open Space Reduction, Floodplain Crossings and Specified Utilities and the preliminary subdivision plat for the entire project.
The series of applications before the Board of Supervisors is atypical. It is unusual to have such a complex package of inter-related applications proceeding concurrently for what represents the largest master planned subdivision in Fauquier County. The review and analysis for each application category, as well as its impact on the other applications, takes significant time, Board of Supervisors and applicant feedback, associated refinements, as well as its individual staff report.
This complex type of application package requires Board of Supervisors’ reaction, negotiation, and re-submittal of the resulting applicant refinements from that negotiation. The review is an iterative process that takes time; both the County and applicant need time to assess, respond and develop refinements essential for the project before it is acted upon by the Board of Supervisors.
Waterfield PRD rezoning and proffer package could allow for the
applicant to subdivide and develop the land based on that series of
documents. In addition, the parcels, formerly identified as the Gerber
tracts or R.G. Holdings, are zoned R-1 Residential, and can develop
pursuant to County Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance requirements, with
drainfield lots. This option could result in over + 842 cumulative lots for both
projects having to use Rt. 793 or Rt. 676 as their primary public roads
providing access. The
ramifications on local streets would be catastrophic for new residents
and the existing neighborhoods and New Baltimore in general.
The proposed application package provides some excellent and major building blocks, which need both discussion and time for further refinement. From the Department’s perspective, there are project elements that benefit the County and could:
· Result in improved access and better distribution of existing and proposed project traffic to a wider variety of public streets, including Rt. 602, Vint Hill Parkway, Rt. 605;
· Result in intersection and signalization improvements;
· Limit the use of Rt. 793;
· Provide emergency services, middle school and library sites;
· Provide valued public access to lakes, bikepaths and link the adjoining neighborhoods to Vint Hill and its planned County park system;
· Ensure existing dams at the Waterfield lakes are safe, functional and well maintained; and
· Remove potential lots using drainfields as a potential impact from groundwater resources, which serve as the only WSA public source for potable supplies in New Baltimore.
of Comprehensive Plan Amendment, Special Exceptions and Preliminary Plat
revision materials were submitted on December 5, 2001 to further support
the comprehensive plan amendment, proffer revisions, and special
exceptions, and to address concerns originally identified by staff in
its original September 27, 2001 report to the Planning Commission.
Each element is discussed below with a brief staff analysis:
Comprehensive Plan Amendment
applicant’s original statement of justification with regards to
extending public sewer to a non-sewered area of the New Baltimore
Service District referenced as the primary reason the provision of a
school site. The applicant
stated that the school would require public water and sewer and that
such an extension would cross the residential areas proposed with this
application. Additionally, it was stated that the applicant’s desired
lot yield will not be possible with drainfields.
However, the statement did not include any reference to the
elements required in the Zoning Ordinance that should be addressed with
a comprehensive plan amendment application.
applicant has now provided a statement of justification which addresses
the following: Creative Concepts: The
use of clustered lots allows greater preservation of environmentally
sensitive areas, and smaller lots in a cluster are better served by
public sewer and water. Change in Circumstances: The
Vint Hill sewer system has been conveyed to the Fauquier County Water
and Sanitation Authority since the Plan was adopted and additional taps
from this project would make the system more economically viable.
With the abandonment of the Auburn Dam, groundwater becomes the
sole source of the WSA public supplies.
Sewering Brookside removes potential groundwater impacts from
aging drainfields. Plus, it
needs to be noted that the state has broadened the types of individual
sanitation systems potentially allowing more home to be constructed as
non-sewered than what was anticipated with the adoption of the Plan.
The current Plan goals of accommodating population expansion
in the service districts and allowing WSA to own and operate water and
sewer facilities would be better met with this amendment.
Hardship: The applicant
maintains that a greater lot yield is necessary to off-set the financial
and land value-based commitments that are proposed to be provided.
revised statement of justification provides a more credible argument for
amending the Comprehensive Plan beyond what the applicant originally
submitted. The revisions
highlight certain community benefits that may be achieved in a balanced
and unified approach to developing the project.
These additional justifications provided by the applicant should
allow the Board of Supervisors to deliberate in a more thoughtful manner
the request to extend sewer service to the Brookside properties.
Open Space Reduction
Staff was not supportive of the original open space
reduction request due to lack of justification. With the revised materials, the open space amount has been
increased from 25% to 35%. The
applicant has increased the open space by adding 13.9 acres of wetlands
that will be placed into conservation easements.
(The applicant also intended to apply the proposed 75-acre high
school site on Route 605 as open space; however, it was removed from
consideration in a letter from the applicant received on December 12,
2001). The calculation has
also been revised to provide an open space requirement of 50% for the
area represented by lots under 40,000 square feet and 25% for the area
represented by lots over 40,000 square feet.
Staff does not object to the method of calculating the required
open space amount, provided that the logic is applied consistently with
the requisite lot bulk regulation requirements.
The Board of Supervisors must determine that 35% open
space for the Brookside development is sufficient to establish
neighborhood open space for useable recreation space, accessibility,
visibility and linkages. Additionally,
the Board must find that the requirement for 50% open space is
inconsistent with the existing pattern of development in the area.
To assist in these determinations, it should be noted that the
35% of open space for Brookside equates to 160.8 acres. When combined with the 191 acres of open space land on the
adjacent Brookside Farm and the proposed network of trails that will
link the two projects, there will be approximately 352 acres of open
space in what is proposed to be a unified and inter-connected
residential community. In
addition, ±105 lots in Brookside are of a size that would qualify for a
conventional R-1 subdivision. This
represents nearly 1/3 (approximately 32%) of the total number of lots on
Brookside that would not require a 50% open space provision.
However, it should be noted that the latest proffer language
(page 14) in the associated rezoning amendment does not appear to grant
Brookside residents access to Brookside Farm facilities.
It should also be noted that because there is varying information
from the applicant on the acreage involved in the project, final open
space calculations will need to be verified before the Board takes
action on any reduction to the open space requirement.
The applicant has now provided culvert size and
floodplain elevation information for both of the proposed crossings.
According to the applicant, this information indicates that there
will be a minimal increase in the floodplain with no effect on offsite
upstream properties. This
information has not been verified and confirmed by the County Engineer;
however, such an analysis could be expected to be completed prior to
final construction. In the
interim, staff has prepared a series of development conditions that
would ensure full compliance with Zoning Ordinance requirements and
Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations during subsequent
engineering steps that would occur before construction.
These conditions are at Attachment 2.
Public Utility Sites
does not intend to review and analyze a preliminary plat for this
project and formulate any recommendations for the Board of Supervisors
to consider until such time as action has been taken on the
Comprehensive Plan Amendment, proffer revisions and special exceptions.
Plan Amendment and Special Exception Applications:
The applicant has made significant progress toward addressing concerns raised in the original staff review of these applications. However, due to the preponderance of unresolved elements, particularly proffer revisions and transportation impacts highlighted in this report, the staff must recommend a denial of the applications noted above at this time. This follows the argument set forth by the applicant that all elements of the project are intertwined and dependent upon the other.