PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor:

 Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Terrence L. Nyhous, Chairman, Center District Supervisor

 

April 8, 2010

Staff Lead:

Department:

Frederick P.D. Carr, Director

 

Community Development

Topic:

A Resolution to Adopt CPAM10-MA-001 – A Comprehensive Plan Amendment to the Warrenton Service District Plan for the Reintroduction of the Route 211 – Route 17 Connector Corridor Reservation

Topic Description:

This Comprehensive Plan Amendment proposes the reservation of a corridor area between Route 211 and Route 17, where and when warranted in the future a road may be considered, designed and constructed. The objectives of this Amendment to the Warrenton Service District Plan are to: (a) provide improved neighborhood connectivity, enhanced pedestrian accommodation and safety; and (b) coordinate the provision of improved safety and operational capacity on Broadview Avenue with the Town of Warrenton and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

The following provides historical and background information regarding the connector, as well as the refinements proposed in this amendment (CPAM10-MA-001) to the transportation element of the Warrenton Service District Plan.

 

A.    Background Information:

Reservation of such a connector corridor is not a new concept for this location on the west side of the Service District.  The Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan (1992-2010), which was adopted in 1994, had originally presented a circumferential route from U.S. 15/29 north of Warrenton and wrapping around the Town’s western edges and reconnecting to U.S. 15/29 to the south (refer to Attachment 1). More specifically, these three basic legs of connection can be generally described today as follows: (1) U.S. 15/29 to Route 17 (now the existing Route 17 Spur); (2) Route 17 to Route 211 (delineated as a “Rural Principal Arterial” to a planned interchange at Route 211); and (3) Route 17 to Alwington Boulevard to an interchange location with U.S. 15/29 (vicinity of Lord Fairfax College).

 

The recent chronology of events associated with the Route 211 – Route 17 Connector Corridor are summarized below:

 

1.      1992-2010 Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan (Adopted: 1994):  Corridor delineated as part of the Warrenton Service District Transportation Plan;

 

2.      Town of Warrenton Comprehensive Plan 2000 - 2025 (Adopted: 2002): The northern link from Route 211 to Route 17 is shown in the adopted Comprehensive Plan (2000-2005) as part of the Conceptual Land Use Plan (pages 3-67).  Note that the Town is currently updating its overall plan and this alignment still remains;

 

3.      Gold Cup Settlement Agreement (May 26, 2000, Deed Book 0869 Page 0005; Chancery No. CH98-275; Peter & Cynthia Giudici and Gold Cup, LLC (Complainants) and the Town of Warrenton (Defendant):  The related rezoning case was much contested and very public as it evolved within the Warrenton community and was decided in court.  The Court’s settlement agreement restricted development in Gold Cup to 220 lots, limited lot connections along Gay Road and Gold Cup Drive, prohibited lot access along Bear Wallow Road, and restricted the subdivision to just two connections to “The Connector Road” (i.e., Timber Fence Parkway). More specifically, the “connector” was located entirely within the Gold Cup subdivision, and, as the Court decree represented, the right-of-way was to be dedicated to the Town, be designed and constructed by the developer as a 2-lane road, which represents the half section of an ultimate four lane divided roadway.  The Town now owns the entire 110-foot right-of-way and the 2-lane road, and is responsible for its maintenance;

 

4.      Fauquier County Warrenton Service District Plan (Adopted Update: November 17, 2003):  As a result of the Citizen Planning Committee update process in the 2002-2003 timeframe, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Warrenton Service District Plan with revisions, which included removal of the proposed Route 211 – Route 17 connection;

 

5.      Warrenton Broadview Avenue Access Management Study:  HNTB completed this study on May 30, 2008 for VDOT and the Town of Warrenton.  It assessed existing traffic peak volumes, levels of service (LOS) and forecasted future volumes and LOS and identified recommended options for consideration. The study discussed improvements to the Broadview Avenue network with and without the addition of a community street connection between Route 211 and Route 17.  (A copy of this study is available for review in the Department of Community Development’s Planning Division, Warren Green Building, Third Floor, Warrenton);

 

6.      Fauquier County Board of Supervisors’ Resolution (Approved: July 9, 2009):  Directed the Planning Commission to review and refine the draft Amendment to the Warrenton Service District Plan, submitted as part of the Route 211 – Route 17 Connector Corridor Technical Planning Study, consider recommendations from the Transportation Committee, conduct public hearing(s), and provide final recommendations to the Board of Supervisors; and

 

7.      Transportation Committee Recommendations to the Planning Commission (Approved July 29, 2009):  The Committee recommended the following:

·      Planning Commission reserve a location in the Warrenton Service District Plan for a Route 211-Route 17 corridor, in the general alignment shown on the attached map, where in the future a road might be considered.   This recommendation is for “a road” along this alignment.  The purpose, form, function, access and terminal connections of this road require further study; 

·      County will expect the Town of Warrenton to phase and implement improvements and access management along Broadview Avenue as represented in the Warrenton Broadview Avenue Access Management Study (Prepared by: HNTB; Prepared for the Town of Warrenton and VDOT; Dated: May 30, 2008);

·      Recommends initiation of proactive regional transportation network planning for Route 211, which considers other existing public road links west of Warrenton that access the Town or extend northward toward connections with I-66, and

·      Recommends that the Planning Commission re-examine the Warrenton Service District boundary in the area of the corridor and re-examine the land use designations along the corridor.

The Planning Commission has conducted: (a) three work sessions regarding the pending amendment; (b) site visits (c) briefings from County/Town staff and HNTB regarding the Warrenton Broadview Avenue Access Management Study; and (d) advertised a community meeting regarding the proposed corridor connector reservation area with interested residents on November 2, 2009 at the Fauquier High School cafeteria (Attachment 2 provides a summary of public comments from the meeting; Attachment 3 provides the technical information sources which served as the foundation for development of the plan amendment).

 

B.     Proposed Plan Amendment:

On March 25, 2010, the Planning Commission forwarded the revised and proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM10-MA-001) to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation it be adopted (Vote: 3-2). The proposed plan is included as Attachment 4, and the revised text is underlined for ease of reference.

 

As reflected in the text amendment, any future street in this proposed corridor needs to be designed within a 110-foot right-of-way to match Timber Fence Parkway. Pedestrian accommodation, through sidewalks and multi-purpose paths and traffic calming within its overall design, are essential elements due to the local neighborhoods, parks and school facilities that all need to be carefully linked. Traffic calming designs in the future are expected to include roundabouts, lower posted speed and other similar elements. The proposed community street corridor would provide neighborhood residents with alternative travel connections that are not available west of Broadview Avenue, better access to community parks, and improved access for emergency vehicles throughout the resident and business community (Refer to Exhibit 4).

Other expectations outlined within the text are as follows:

  1. General Character:  Any prospective street constructed within the reserved corridor is expected to remain as a 2-lane facility well into the future.  If increases in traffic volume require reevaluation and warrant lane additions at selected locations or throughout the corridor, then the 110-foot right-of-way reservation provides the flexibility for such improvements. 
     
  2. Traffic Calming Design Requirements:  Any  future road design shall have strategically located and clearly marked pedestrian crossings, maximum integration of traffic calming design features, including roundabouts at key intersections (e.g., Timber Fence Parkway/Black Sweep Road and Route 690/Timber Fence Parkway), and have limited access to any extension from Route 690 to Route 17.  Here limited access means that no access from Rady Park or the adjoining rural agriculturally zoned area will be allowed connections to this road between Bear Wallow Road and Route 17.
     
  3. Community Involvement: Public community street design from the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) to the final design stages will have required community involvement, including the Board of Supervisors, Town of Warrenton, the affected neighborhoods and the broader town-county community. The objective is to insure environmental, historical, neighborhood, and public impacts and costs are carefully assessed and balanced within the final design of this key facility.
     
  4. Watershed Management: The northern portion of the corridor is within the Warrenton Reservoir’s watershed.  Therefore, integral in the study and design process of any such future community public street will be its affect on the watershed. The quality and quantity of surface water from this watershed represents the primary drinking water source for the Town of Warrenton.  As reflected in another section of this plan, the Town of Warrenton’s potable water supply needs long term management and remedial attention. 

Therefore, any connector street design must: (a) protect critical wetland resources and habitat areas; and (b) incorporate design features within the right-of-way and externally that promote continued stormwater pollutant cleansing from this roadway. The clear added objective here is that the connector’s design, construction and operation will result in no impacts or even improve the water quality flowing from its area to the Town’s reservoir supplies.

One of the concerns raised by two Planning Commission members not supporting the amendment was that the connector could result in future development not wanted in the Fenton Farm location.  Prior to adoption of any such amendment, they felt further land use controls needed to be in place.  For example, part of their opposition at this time to the amendment was that the Service District’s hard edge, represented by the Fenton Farm properties, needed to be protected now through recorded easements, purchase of development rights or other similar means. The Fenton Farm parcel through which the connector reservation passes is zoned Rural Agriculture (RA) and totals 266.23 acres, while other farm properties north of this parcel total 224.19 acres and are zoned Rural Agriculture/Rural Conservation (RA/RC).  The Department concluded subdivision potential deed research for these Rural Agriculture (RA) and Rural Conservation (RC) zoned properties, and the results are: (a) 266 - acre parcel:  7 total residential lots; and (b) 224 - acre parcel:  4 total residential lots.

  1. Broadview Avenue Expectations:  In regards to the construction timing of any such community corridor, no future connection should be undertaken between Bear Wallow Road and Route 17 unless:
     

a.       It is established that such a road is the permanent hard edge of Warrenton and the Warrenton Service District;
 

b.      The County and Town have secured conservation easements or development rights on the Rural Agriculture (RA) zoned land to the west of the reservation so as to assure its continued contribution to the water supply of Warrenton;
 

c.   No construction shall occur between Route 211 and Route 17, until the Town of Warrenton has implemented the recommended improvements and access management along Broadview Avenue as represented in the Warrenton Broadview Access Management Study (HNTB Prepared for: Town of Warrenton and VDOT; Dated: May 30, 2008); and
 

d.      Actual traffic volumes clearly indicate the need, and no other reasonable options are available. 
 

  1. Regional Transportation Network Assessment: To facilitate a comprehensive evaluation of options, the plan amendment recommends that the County initiate transportation network planning at a more regional scope for Route 211. Such an assessment would consider existing public road links west of Warrenton that access the Town or extend northward to connections with I-66, Route 29 and Route 17.  This styled analysis could provide more effective traffic distribution and road travel choices for the public, as well as the identification of essential road and intersectional safety improvements that need to be programmatically considered, funded and then constructed in the future throughout that network.

Attachment 5 provides a tabular summary of future expectations and results regarding the corridor reservation plan.

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct the public hearing.

Financial Impact Analysis:

None is required.

 

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

 

Town of Warrenton

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
Marshall & Center Magisterial District Residents

 

Attachments: 

1.      Map 10.7:  Warrenton Service District Transportation Plan (1994)

2.      Draft Minutes of the Fauquier County Planning Commission (November 2, 2009)

3.      Technical Sources

4.      CPAM10-MA-001 – A Comprehensive Plan Amendment to the Warrenton Service District Plan for the Reintroduction of the Route 211 – Route 17 Connector Corridor Reservation

5.      Future Results:  Warrenton Service District Plan, Transportation Studies and Street Design

6.      A Resolution to Adopt CPAM10-MA-001

 

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