Meeting Date:

Chairman Ray Graham, Cedar Run District Supervisor

March 18, 2002

Staff Lead:


Frederick P.D. Carr

Department of Community Development



At the conclusion of the approved 1998 Waterfield Rezoning, the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors asked for a review of the County’s proffer policy.  As a result, the Planning Commission and Department of Community Development completed a preliminary study in September of 1999.  That study reviewed the state enabling legislation, identified what other growth jurisdictions used as their proffer review methodology and guidelines, and presented recommended refinements to the County’s proffer assessment procedures with special emphasis on the residential rezoning category. 

Implementation of the recommendations was postponed indefinitely due to pending action in a neighboring county.  The Board of Supervisors wanted to observe the results and any legal actions regarding Prince William County’s effort to have any rezoning residential application subject to 100% of the per unit cost established for a range of established public facility categories. 

Supervisors Graham and Winkelmann recently have indicated a strong interest to restart the County effort and Board of Supervisors’ support.  It should be noted that the Planning Commission has included the updating of the information and recommendations contained in Proffer Policy Analysis Report (Dated:  September 20, 1999) in its work program this year. 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:  Direct the staff and Planning Commission to update the figures and recommendations in the referenced report. 


Enabling Legislation.  The Virginia legislature has three separate types of proffer legislation, which apply to differing localities statewide.  These categories are summarized below. 

1.      The first category is commonly referred to as the “old style” proffering (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2296).  This category is wide open to a jurisdiction; anything may be proffered and it applies to a very select number of localities:  Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County and Virginia Beach.  Under this type of conditional zoning, a developer/applicant may proffer anything to the locality without the requirement that the proffer need arises from the proposed rezoning.  An example could be a residential developer proposing to dedicate land and/or construct a commuter parking lot or commuter rail stop along the Dulles Toll Road. 

The second type of proffer legislation can be referred to as the “high growth” or “middle style” of proffers (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2298).    This enabling legislation is limited to those jurisdictions that had a population growth of ten percent or more from “the next to latest decennial census year,” also to certain localities which are located or adjacent to such a locality as defined in that section.  This code section allows these localities to accept proffers if:  “ (i) the rezoning itself gives rise to the need for the conditions;   (ii) the conditions have a reasonable relation to the rezoning; and (iii) all conditions are in conformity with the comprehensive plan as defined in 15-2-2223.”  

These restrictions are important since they limit proffers to impacts arising out of the rezoning application.  For example, to accept a cash or land proffer for schools, it must be theoretically shown that the development will need new or additional construction in that area of the county to serve that project, or that school seats will have to shift to another school as a result of the proposed residential rezoning.  In addition to the nexus standard, the Virginia Code also requires that the proffer of cash or real estate not be accepted until the project is shown in the jurisdiction’s capital improvements program. 

3.  The third and final type of proffer is normally referred to as the “new style” proffering (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2297).  This category is the most limited.  While it has similarities to the high growth proffering process and requirements, it prohibits cash contributions, mandatory dedication of real or personal property for enumerated uses, construction of off-site improvements or proffers not related to the physical development or operation of the property. 

Fauquier County falls under the requirements of the high growth proffer category, and the criteria outlined in the previous section.  The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors enacted changes to the Zoning Ordinance on August 7, 1990 to accept cash proffers from applicants seeking rezoning approvals in accordance with the enabling legislation adopted by the Virginia Assembly on July 1, 1990.   

Proffer Policy Analysis Report.  Other jurisdictions have enacted ways to mitigate capital facilities impacts of a proposed rezoning application by accepting combinations of land dedications, actual construction and differing amounts of cash proffers as shown in the previous sections of this report. The referenced report, which was prepared in 1999, reviewed and summarized the methodologies used by the Counties of Chesterfield, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford, as well as the City of Chesapeake.  All established approaches are successful and were designed pursuant to the applicable proffer limitations established in the Virginia Code for their jurisdiction.  

The report analyzed the following options from the latter jurisdictions, and all provide the requisite building blocks needed to determine capital costs for all facilities.  These options are described as:

1.      The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Methodology

2.      Existing Service Levels Methodology (ELS)

3.      Cost to Build Methodology, similar to the existing Fauquier County policy shown for schools (CTB); and

4.      Level of Service Cutoffs Methodology (LOSAX). 

Financial Impacts Analysis:

 The report analysis presents the associated costs for each methodology, or how the calculations would be achieved.  These costs would need to be updated to reflect 2002 Dollars.  Table 1 presents the report analysis for three options in 1999 Dollars.

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

 Department of Community Development

Department of Finance

Office of Management and Budget

Property Owner/Applicant


Draft Proffer Policy Analysis (dated September 20, 1999)