Location, Zoning and Current
The property is located on the
east side of James Madison Highway (Route 29), immediately south
of Burke Lane (private street) and zoned Rural Agricultural
(RA). The property is the site of Lee Highway Nursery.
Surrounding Zoning and Current
All of the surrounding property
is zoned Rural Agricultural. Properties to the south and east
are vacant and properties to the north and west contain
Comprehensive Plan/Land Use:
The site is outside the Service
District in an area designated for rural/agricultural uses.
Special Exception/Special Permit
Article 5-006, General Standards
General standards seek to ensure
that the requested use is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan
and does not adversely affect neighboring properties. A nursery
has been operating on-site for over thirty years. The uses do
not appear to adversely affect neighboring properties. The
Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will need to
determine if the additional uses will satisfy these same General
Standards and remain within the scope of what is appropriate
development in a rural area (Section 5-006).
5-1804 Additional Standards for Plant Nursery/Greenhouse,
Retail Sales, in Rural Zoning Districts
1. The minimum lot size requirement shall be five (5) acres.
The site contains 6.6 acres.
2. No building, structure, outdoor storage, parking or loading
area used for or in conjunction with such use shall be located
within fifty (50) feet of any lot line.
None of these items are
proposed within fifty feet of any lot line.
3. Off-street parking, loading and outdoor storage areas shall
be effectively screened.
There appears to be adequate
screening on-site. This will be addressed with the amended site
plan if the applications are approved.
4. No sales of power tools, garden vehicles or machinery shall
be conducted on the premises.
This is included as a proposed
condition of development, although these types of sales are not
5-916 Additional Standards for Class C
Spectator and Non-Spectator Field Events and Activities
No Class C field event or
activity shall have more than 1,000 cumulative attendees per
event and no Class C event shall exceed three (3) days in
length. Class C events that have more than 1,000 attendees or
last more than three days shall require special permit approval
for each event.
The owner is requesting to hold
five events a year occurring each weekend in October. Each
event would last two days and have no more than 100 attendees,
with a maximum of 50 attendees at any one time. A condition of
development has been proposed placing a threshold on the
Sites eligible for Class C
events and activities shall contain a minimum of 50 acres and
have a minimum of 300 feet of frontage on a road designated by
the County as a major collector (or higher) in the Comprehensive
Plan unless the Board of Supervisors finds that the type and
amount of traffic generated by the facility is such that it will
not cause an undue impact on the neighbors or adversely affect
safety of road usage. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary
contained in this paragraph, the Board of Supervisors may
approve a special exception on a site of less than 50 acres or
less than 300 feet of frontage upon findings that less
restrictive standards do not negatively impact any other general
or specific standard contained in Article 5 for this use and
will serve the purposes of promoting public health, safety, and
welfare to an equivalent degree.
The site contains approximately
6.6 acres and contains 275 feet of road frontage along Route
29. Access to the site is off Burke Lane (private road). The
fall festival has been occurring for the past two years without
incident according to the owners.
This stretch of Route 29
handles approximately 23,000 vehicles per day. At the peak
operating time (five weekends per year), it is anticipated the
site will not generate more than 150 vehicles per day. The
Board of Supervisors will have to find that the amount of
traffic generated by the facility will not cause an undue impact
on the neighbors or adversely affect road safety or usage.
No structure shall be located
closer than 100 feet to any lot line.
The only structure associated
with the festival is the moon bounce. The area of the fall
festival has been noted on the Special Exception exhibit and is
not within 100 feet of any lot line.
Field sports and those outdoor
sports activities which may be conducted on or within open field
areas without the use of an enclosed stadium or arena for
spectators such as cross country running, track and field,
soccer, football, Frisbee, kite flying, fly casting, field
hockey, rugby, hot air ballooning, softball, golf ball driving,
dog trials and the disciplines of Triathlon, Pentathlon and
Sports activities are not
6. The special exception holder shall provide adequate
security, emergency, traffic control, sanitation and refreshment
services at every Class C event or activity. At least thirty
(30) days prior to holding a Class C event the holder of the
special exception for the property upon which a Class C event
will be held shall provide to the Zoning Administrator written
proof, including copies of any permits or licenses if required,
from the following agencies that control traffic, security,
emergency services and on-site sanitary and refreshment
facilities are adequate for the size and the type of the event
or activity to be held:
Fauquier County Sheriff's Office
Virginia Department of Transportation
Fauquier County Emergency Services Coordinator
Fauquier County Health Department
The owner will have to comply
with this requirement prior to holding any event. This has been
pointed out to the owners.
7. All requirements of the Fauquier County Code, including
this Ordinance, which pertain to limitations and prohibitions on
noise in the applicable zoning districts shall be complied with
by the holder of the special exception.
Hours of operation for the
festival are proposed from noon to 5:00 p.m. No music or
amplified noise is proposed; therefore, a condition has been
proposed restricting the hours of operation for the festival and
prohibiting amplified noise.
8. Any retail sales conducted on the property shall either be
(a) accessory and incidental to the permitted activity or (b)
conducted by and for the benefit of a nonprofit, tax exempt
organization. At least thirty (30) days prior to holding a
Class C event the holder of the special exception for the
property upon which the event will be held shall provide to the
Zoning Administrator the name, address and a contact person for
each individual, group, association, partnership or corporation
which is expected to conduct retail sales at the event.
There will not be any vendors
at the fall festival; a condition has been proposed prohibiting
such vendors. The only retail sales occurring on the site will
be what the owners are permitted under these applications,
outlined in the proposed conditions of development.
5-1812 Additional Standards for a Farmer's
The minimum lot size shall be five (5) acres.
The site contains 6.6 acres.
Such a use shall have frontage on a major collector (or higher)
as designated in the Comprehensive Plan unless the Board of
Zoning Appeals finds that the type and amount of traffic
generated by the facility is such that frontage on a public road
with a lesser designation will not cause an undue impact on the
neighbors and adversely affect safety or road usage.
See earlier analysis.
In addition to the allowed farm sign, one temporary, portable
sign may be erected of up to 12 square feet in size and 6 feet
in height to advertise products available.
A condition of development has
been proposed addressing signage limitations.
Any retail sales conducted on the property shall be accessory
and incidental to the permitted activity. Permitted accessory
products include pottery, baskets, garden accessories, baked
goods, floral supplies and other similar type items directly
related to the culture care, use of, or processing of the
principal use. Products such as lawn mowers and tractors shall
not be allowed.
A condition of development has
been proposed addressing retail sales on the property.
Highway entrance shall be approved by the Virginia Department of
The Virginia Department of
Transportation (VDOT) has stated they have no comment on these
applications. If the applications are approved, VDOT will be a
review agency for the amended site plan.
Sanitary facilities shall be approved by the Fauquier County
The Health Department has
stated the facilities are adequate.
A farmer's market shall be conducted on the same lot as contains
the bona fide, primary residence of the property owner or
lessee, or on an adjacent property under the same ownership or
lease as the parcel containing the primary residence of the
proprietor, unless otherwise waived by the Board of Supervisors
by approval of a Special Exception.
The owner does not live on the
property. The Board of Supervisors will have to waive this
requirement which was recently added to the Zoning Ordinance as
part of a text amendment to address operations on this property.
One structure shall be allowed, size not to exceed 2,500 square
feet in size, and shall meet all location requirements for the
RA zoning district.
The owner is proposing to use
half of the existing 3,220 square foot building as shown on the
Special Exception exhibit.
9. At least 80% of all agriculture products, horticultural
products, and hand made crafts shall be grown or produced on
site or within Fauquier County.
The applicants have stated
they have updated their suppliers to replace outside sources
with local suppliers. A condition of development has been
proposed addressing this standard. The owners are aware that
they need to keep accurate records to ensure this standard is
Staff and Review Agency
Staff and the 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 italicized language below the agency’s comments represents
how the comments will be addressed.
Planning analysis is provided
within the staff report.
Virginia Department of
Warrenton residency staff has reviewed the special permit, and
has no comments.
noted, no action required.
On May 13, 2005, this office
issued a Sewage Disposal Operation Permit, for Health
Department ID #SD-04-137. This Type 1 Sewage Disposal System has
a design capacity of 300 gallons per day.
Based on the applicants’ proposal
while having their Fall Special Event, they propose that there
will be no more than sixty people at the facility at any one
time. Using five gallons per person per bathroom use (this
number is a high estimate with low flush toilets and flow
limited faucets at the sinks), this system is designed to handle
the applicant’s proposed use.
Comment noted, no action
Applicant shall provide a
statement from the Fauquier County Office of the Virginia
Department of Health indicating that existing septic drainfield
is suitable for the proposed use (Zoning Ordinance 5-011). The
Health Department requires a minimum of 1 temporary privy per
100 persons at mass gatherings (12 VAC 5-610-980.C.3). The
privies should be cleaned daily, supplied with toilet tissue and
pumped before the tank is two-thirds (2/3) full (Fauquier County
Statement has been provided in
Health Department comments.
Based on the Fauquier County Soil Survey, 4% of the site
is mapped soil units rated “Not Suited” for general development
using conventional septic and drainfield due to landscape
position, 42%, “Marginal” due to slow percolation, and 54% as
Additional information (preliminary soil report,
geotechnical investigation, etc.) may substantially change
No action required at this
time. Additional action may be required during the site plan
In general, it is unclear whether the tractor sales
associated with the original Special Permit Application
#SPPT08-MA-021 has been, and will continue to be, operating
on-site. The applicant must clearly state all proposed uses that
will occur on-site as part of the application so that staff can
better assess impacts such as traffic and parking. In addition,
if the tractor sales component is not active, or will not be in
the near future, on-site, then the development conditions
associated with the Special Permit Amendment should reflect this
The applicants are requesting
to amend their existing Special Permit to remove the tractor
sales component. This is proposed as a condition of
Although the applicant states that the farmer’s market
component will take up less than 2,500 square feet of floor area
in the existing building, it is necessary to determine the
actual locations and square footage that will be encumbered by
the proposed use. Without this information, it will be difficult
for staff to determine compliance should the use be approved.
The applicants have shown half
of the 3,220 square foot building to be used as the farmer’s
market on the Special Exception exhibit, and has stated the same
in the Statement of Justification. The site plan that is
required if the applications are approved will clearly delineate
the area as well.
Similarly, a better accounting of the range of products
to be sold on-site should be provided, especially for the
off-season months while little or no local produce will be
The Statement of Justification
provides a list of the range of products to be sold. In
addition to produce, the owners will be selling cheese, beef,
sausage, honey, eggs, wine, chickens, and baked goods. The
owners have provided zoning and planning staff an extensive list
in the past of products and suppliers. Other items not
specifically mentioned in the Statement of Justification include
salsa and mustard made by The Remington Pepper Company in
Remington, soap and shampoo made at Stoneleigh Farms in
Warrenton and molasses made by Dale Grove in Somerville.
The owners are aware they need
to keep accurate records proving at least 80% of all agriculture
products, horticultural products, and handmade crafts shall be
grown or produced on-site or within Fauquier County. The owners
are aware the burden is placed on them to keep accurate
accounting records proving they are meeting this requirement.
The special events appear to be limited to weekends in
October. It should be clear in any proposed development
conditions that any events are limited to this month, and the
condition should contain sufficient detail as to what will occur
on-site (i.e., moon bounces, hayrides, etc.
A condition has been
The applicant states that up to sixty (60) people could
be on-site for attendance of the special events proposed for
each October. However, the parking on-site is not adequate for
this level of activity, nor has the applicant indicated an area
for temporary overflow parking.
Since this comment by the
Zoning Office, the applicants have indicated that the overflow
parking is located to the rear of the property as shown on the
Special Exception exhibit. This area is ample for thirty-five
plus vehicles and has been used in the past for the events.
Since the above comment was made by the Zoning Office, the
owners have scaled back the number of patrons they are expecting
at the events. The current proposal includes no more than 100
attendees, with no more than 50 at any one time; parking is
The site is currently in violation of several provisions
of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance. Most significantly is
the proliferation of the outdoor storage of goods offered for
sale on-site for the retail greenhouse business. Such items are
kept within the front setback area and within portions of the
parking areas located at the front of the building and on the
side to the north, and within the Route 29 right-of-way. While
some outdoor storage is allowed, it cannot be located within the
front setback area, designated parking areas, or within the
right-of-way, and is limited to such an area as shown on an
approved site plan. The approved site plan shows outdoor storage
to the west behind the retail building.
The owners have verbally
indicated their willingness to correct all violations. If
additional areas for storage are needed as allowed by the
Ordinance, this can be corrected during the site plan process.
In addition, because of past performance, a time limit is
proposed on the applications.
In addition to the above violation, the applicant has
also been in violation in the past of the current sign
regulations. It is recommended that any development conditions
clearly limit the amount of signage on site pursuant to Sections
5-1812.3 and 8-1401.3 of the Ordinance.
A condition has been proposed
Pursuant to Section 5-916.2 of the Ordinance, the Board
must make a finding on the traffic impact since the minimum lot
size and frontage requirements are less than what is required in
the Zoning Ordinance.
Traffic has been analyzed
above. VDOT stated they had no comment on the proposed
The following Zoning Ordinance standards are applicable
to the proposed application:
General Standards for all Special Exceptions and Special
Additional Standards for Class C Non-Spectator Activities;
Section 5-1812, Additional Standards for a Farmer’s
See earlier analysis.