COUNTY OF FAUQUIER

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS STAFF REPORT

MARCH 18, 2002

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENT #CPA00-S-05, SPECIAL EXCEPTION CASES #SE 01-S-14, #SE01-S-15 and #SE01-S-16

OWNERS:

Brookside Communities, LLC Brookside Development, LLC

R.G. Holdings, LP and Others

 

 

 

APPLICANT:

Same

 

 

REPRESENTATIVES

Edward Miller, 5306 Lee Highway, Warrenton, VA  20187

Merle Fallon, 24 Ashby Street, Warrenton, VA  20186

 

 

PROPOSALS:

This complex combination of land use cases involves the proposed residential development of approximately 967 - 1050 acres of land (depending on varying documents submitted by the applicant) in the New Baltimore Service District.  Approximately 440 acres of the project area is the former Waterfield site (now known as Brookside Farm), which is the subject of a concurrent proffer amendment application.  The balance of the site is land which is zoned R-1, and is referred to in these applications as Brookside.

In association with the Gerber/Brookside properties, the applicant filed the following applications:

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

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

-          Special Exception approval for floodplain uses and to construct two roadway crossings in the floodplain.  This special exception also applies to the Waterfield/Brookfield Farm property.

-          Special Exception approval to construct utility structures for sewer, gas and electric.

-          Preliminary Plat approval for the entire combined residential development of Waterfield and Brrokside for a total of approximately 975 single-family residential lots. 

 

ORDER OF APPLICATION

ACTIONS:

 

The order of action through which these combined applications must be processed will be Comprehensive Plan Amendment, Revised Proffer Statement, Special Exceptions and finally the Preliminary Plat. 

Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance action timelines cause legal timing issues.  Unless the applicant agrees to deferrals, the Board of Supervisors must take action within one year of the application acceptance date of May 30, 2001.

 

 

 

LOCATION:

In the New Baltimore Service District in the general area of Riley Road (Route 676), Rogues Road (Route 602), Lake Drive (Route 1306) and Shepherdstown Road (Route 793).  All of the properties are east of Lee Highway (U.S Route 29) and north of Dumfries Road (Route 605).

 

 

MAGISTERIAL

DISTRICT:

 

Scott District

 

 

PROPERTY I.D.

NUMBER AND SIZE:

 

Numerous Parcels Totaling Approximately 900 acres

 

 

CURRENT ZONING:

R-1 (Residential), approximately 527 – 610 acres, based on varying information from the applicant

PRD (Planned Residential Development), approximately 440 acres

 

EXISTING ZONING AND LAND USES OF ADJACENT PROPERTIES

N

R-1 (Residential) and PCID

Residential and Vint Hill

S

R-1 (Residential)

Residential

E

R-1 (Residential)

Residential

W

R-1 (Residential)

Residential

         

 

STAFF PLANNERS:               Department of Community Development Personnel

Background

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.  

The approved 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.

Analysis of Comprehensive Plan Amendment, Special Exceptions and Preliminary Plat

Application 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:

1)      Comprehensive Plan Amendment

The 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.

The 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.  Goals:  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.

The 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.

2)      Special Exceptions

a.       Open Space Reduction

The Brookside portion of the application is proposed to be developed under the existing R-1 zoning.  That project element includes the Gerber (R.G. Holdings) and other parcels which are not part of the former Waterfield project now called Brookside Farm.  In order to provide a greater lot yield, the applicant is proposing to utilize the cluster provisions of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for lots sizes smaller than those required in a conventional R-1 subdivision.  With the use of the cluster provisions, the open space requirement for a residential subdivision increases from 25% to 50%, while the minimum lot size decreases from 40,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.  The applicant is requesting a special exception to reduce this 50% open space requirement for Brookside.

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.

b.       Floodplain Crossings

The applicant is proposing the construction of two (2) road crossings in floodplain areas.  Originally, there was no supporting technical information in support of the floodplain crossing request to determine what the results would be and if there would be any off-site impacts.

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.

c.       Public Utility Sites

Pending extension of the sewer service into the Brookside properties, the applicant is proposing to construct two (2) sewer pump stations.  The applicant is also proposing the construction of gas and electric stations to serve the residential community.  For the sewage pump stations, the conditions of approval are contingent upon approval of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment to extend sewer service to the Brookside properties.  Additional conditions for all public utility uses are intended to offset potential impacts on adjacent properties.  (See Attachment 3)

3)      Preliminary Subdivision

Staff 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.

Recommendation

Comprehensive 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.