PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owners/Applicants:

 Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

 

  Fauquier County School Board

 

April 13, 2006

Staff Lead:

Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning

Department:

Community Development

 

Magisterial District:

Cedar Run

PIN:

7914-79-2156-000

 

Topic:

A Resolution to Approve the Third High School: SPEX06-SC-014, SPEX06-SC-015, and CCRV06-SC-003

 

Topic Description:

The applicant seeks approval of the following applications associated with the proposed third high school (HS-3):

  1. Comprehensive Plan Conformance Determination CCRV06-SC-003: High School location is consistent with the New Baltimore Service District Plan;
  2. Special Exception SPEX0-SC-014:   Request for a Category 5 Special Exception to Allow for a Secondary School in the RA Zoning District; and
  3. Special Exception SPEX06-SC-015:  Request for a Category 20 Special Exception to Allow for an Above Ground Sewer Pumping Facility.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached resolution or alternate resolution.

Staff notes that the Board of Supervisors has directed the High School Major Site Plan to be scheduled for an expedited review and approval process.

 

Summary Staff Report:

 

The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors and School Board mutually agreed on the acquisition of the 306.1+ acre site known as the Mabel V. Lunceford Estate property.  The Board of Supervisors acquired the entire property on December 22, 2005.  It is located on the east side of Rogues Road (Route 602) across the street from Grapewood Estates.

The County owned property is described as two discrete parcels under one parcel number (PIN 7914-79-2156-000).  It has 100-year floodplain (Reference: FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map Number 510055, Panels 0305A and 310A).  The Board of Supervisors has conveyed 209.7+ acres on the northeast side of the floodplain to the School Board for the third high school site.  The Board of Supervisors plans to hold the remaining 96.4+ acres in open space for a future park and/or similar public purposes.

A.           Comprehensive Plan Compliance Review. §15.2-2232, Code of Virginia, Comprehensive Plan Compliance Review.  Here the Planning Commission has made its required finding that the proposed high school (a public facility feature) is substantially in accord with the adopted Comprehensive Plan at this location.

1.            New Baltimore Service District Plan (NBSD).  The adopted Plan identifies a need for a new high school to serve overall population growth expected (reference Section H.2 Future Needs).  Applicable and stated NBSD Plan objectives and policies for all school categories are:

Objectives

ü      To provide quality public schools that are not overcrowded and situated in safe, quiet environments;

Response: The Fauquier County School Board’s proposed high school is:  (a) located within a 209.7+ acre site; (b) accessed from Route 602; (c) proposed with facilities 500 feet or more from adjacent properties; and (d) located in an area with established and developing RA and R-1 zoned neighborhoods.

ü      Encourage the co-location of schools and parks for the development of neighborhood and community facilities providing for an efficient use of land; and

Response: Refer to the Special Exception application which details recreation and school plans for the School Board site (Parcel A).

ü      Ensure public sewer is made available to new schools, and where possible, existing schools are connected to public sewer.

Response: The proposed HS-3 is located adjacent to and just outside the New Baltimore Service District (NBSD) boundary.  In this location, Rogues Road (Route 602) serves as the Service District’s eastern edge. 

The NBSD Plan has a very limited area designated for WSA sewer service (AB-1).  Brookside represents the southern edge of AB-1, with sewer available for the Eddington Drive neighborhood.  WSA sewer service is not available to locations outside such designated areas within New Baltimore.  To solve this problem for HS-3, Chapter 6 – Service Districts of the Comprehensive Plan (reference p. 5) provides a provision, which states that the Comprehensive Plan “does not intend to preclude the extension of public water and sewer to existing or planned governmental facilities that are near or adjacent to service districts.”  This section empowers the Board of Supervisors to allow extension of both sewer and water services to the HS-3 site.

Note that sewer service lines will be sized to exclusively serve the Fauquier County School Board site. This connection will be made through the WSA facilities available through Brookside.  The WSA has onsite wells and service available to the proposed high school.

Policies

ü      The acquisition of school sites should be accompanied with the provision of sewer services.  If a new school for the New Baltimore Service District is located in an area not planned for public sewer, the sewer line will then be sized only to serve that school facility, with no other connections allowed; and

Response: Refer to the previous response.

ü      Recreational facilities available at school sites should be made available for community-wide use.

Response:  When meeting rooms and fields are not in use, the Fauquier County School Board makes such facilities available for public use through requisite scheduling.  This facility is a major County investment and community resource, and such provisions are expected.

2.      New Baltimore Service District Plan Update

The Board of Supervisors appointed Citizen Planning Committee is providing the 5-Year review of the adopted 1999 NBSD Plan, and preparing proposed refinements to that document for both Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors consideration. The updated document is targeted for transmission to the Planning Commission in April of 2006 for the initiation of its public hearing process. It needs to be noted that this County owned property has been designated as a proposed high school site in the draft document.

3.      Planning Commission Finding

The Fauquier County School Board requested and the Planning Commission found that the proposed school site, as described generally herein and proposed specifically in the companion Special Exception application, is a public facility feature that is substantially in accord with the adopted Comprehensive Plan.  The adopted 1999 New Baltimore Service District Plan identified the need for a high school to serve the growing student population within its boundary and the surrounding neighborhoods. The proposed location is consistent with adopted New Baltimore Service District Plan’s objectives and policies. 

B.           Special Exceptions.  The subject Fauquier County School Board site is zoned Rural Agriculture (RA), which allows a “secondary school” by Special Exception. Here the Fauquier County School Board is seeking approvals of the following applications: (1) SPEX06-SC-014: Special Exception (Secondary School - Category 5): to allow a “secondary school” in the RA district (Zoning Ordinance Section 3-305.3); and (2) SPEX06-SC-015: Special Exception (Public Utilities – Category 20): to allow an above ground sewage pumping station (Zoning Ordinance Section 3-320.3).

1.      High School (Secondary School – Category 5 Special Exception)

The Fauquier County School Board proposes a high school on the project site.  Route 602 serves as the public street frontage, with access from a single spine road leading into the site and serving the school and football/soccer field.  The general site layout includes the high school, bus circulation, parking and athletic fields.

General Characteristics

In general, hours of operation are from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., with events and community uses regularly scheduled after hours.  The instruction capacity is designed to serve 1200 students; the core facilities will be designed to accommodate 1500 students to cover future student population growth.  The estimated number of employees is about 180 to 200.  The school will serve portions of Cedar Run, Center and Scott Districts.

The third high school (HS-3) will be a two story masonry structure of approximately 230,000 square feet.  Visible roof areas will be sloping metal roofs.  The palette of materials will be complimentary to the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

The applicant states that the use of the property for a High School will not adversely affect uses of surrounding Rural Agriculture (RA) or R-1 zoned properties. School buildings and the planned athletic fields are more than 500 feet from the nearest RA zoned lots to the property’s north and over 800 feet from Rogues Road.

All appropriate screening and landscaping required as part of the Tree Canopy, Landscape and Buffer Requirements of Section 7-600 of the Zoning Ordinance will be met.  An existing perimeter fence along the property boundaries will remain in place.  Any existing fence within the property will be removed.  New six foot high chain link fence will be installed to enclose each of the competitive athletic fields – football, baseball and softball – with additional fence enclosing the entire athletic complex, with the exception of the general use PE / Soccer fields. 

Any sports field lighting will be fully shielded and meet the public recreational requirements of the Zoning Ordinance Section 9-1006.1.a-f.  This Section is intended to provide adequate and safe illumination for athletic events, while minimizing sky-glow and light spillover to adjoining properties.  Due to the distance of the football/soccer stadium and baseball/softball fields to the property line, there will be no spillover light impacts on adjoining properties.

To the immediate east of Parcel A is the Fairfax Wildlife Club’s 87+ acre site.  The Fairfax Wildlife Club, Inc. property (PIN 7914-87-5524-000) adjoins the high school site along a 3,364 foot common boundary on the southeast of the high school site.  Kettle Run flows generally west to east along this boundary. 

The club has 69 members, 45 of whom are active.  The club parcel is used for hunting and firearms target range shooting, and supports other activities including hunter safety classes, camping, Fauquier 4H Junior Gun Club, Fishing Derby, and club social activities.  In discussions with the School Board, a representative of the Fairfax Wildlife Club has stated the club’s willingness to work cooperatively with the school division on this project. 

The terrain and vegetation of the high school site and the club site are generally conducive to preventing stray firearms fire from reaching the proposed school site.  The westernmost portion of the club parcel is heavily wooded and contains a hill on which is situated the firing range.  The firing range has a large earthen berm, which provides significant screening of much of the high school site from the west, and acts as a barrier to stray projectiles. 

Much of the northern portion of the club parcel slopes downward toward Kettle Run, resulting in most firearm projectiles from this orientation being directed into the floodplain adjacent to Kettle Run.  The slopes on the north side (the school site side) of Kettle Run are covered by trees, providing a natural screening for stray projectiles. However, the school division plans to add additional protection such as solid screening or berms east of the planned athletic fields.

The adopted Chapter 6 - New Baltimore Service District Plan identifies the need for a new high school, and the location is consistent with plan policies; for example:

·        Adequately buffered from roads, non-residential uses and operations hazards;

·        Located in such a way that woodlands and natural areas serve as buffers between school operations and adjoining uses;

·        Allow safe and convenient access to the local road network;

·        Should not include major floodplain, drainage ways nor major utility easements;

·        School locations should be collocated with County parks where practical; and

·        Any proposed school site must have adequate access to existing or proposed public streets.

The NBSD Plan expects all schools to become an important amenity to New Baltimore and the surrounding neighborhoods by providing building space and field recreational areas for civic, cultural and community use.

Public and Sewer Services

The NBSD Plan has a policy that states: ensure public sewer is made available to new schools, and where possible, existing schools are connected to public sewer.

The proposed HS-3 is located adjacent to and just outside the New Baltimore Service District (NBSD) boundary.  In this location, Rogues Road (Route 602) serves as the Service District’s eastern edge.  In addition, the NBSD Plan has a very limited area designated for WSA sewer service (AB-1).  The Brookside subdivision represents the southern edge of AB-1, with sewer available for its Eddington Drive neighborhood just south of the HS-3 site.  WSA sewer service is not available to locations outside such designated areas within New Baltimore. 

To solve this utility service problem for the HS-3 site, Chapter 6 – Service Districts of the Comprehensive Plan (reference p. 5) states that the Plan “does not intend to preclude the extension of public water and sewer to existing or planned governmental facilities that are near or adjacent to service districts.”  This Section empowers the Board of Supervisors to allow extension of both sewer and water services to the HS-3 site. Note that sewer service lines will need to be sized to exclusively serve the Fauquier County School Board site. This connection will be made through the WSA facilities available through Brookside.

The applicant states that the School Board shall construct the HS-3 entrance and frontage improvements on Rogues Road pursuant to VDOT requirements and specifications, including requisite signalization.  In addition and through the VDOT Revenue Sharing Program, the School Board and Board of Supervisors (mix of County revenue and Proffer contributions and VDOT funds) are in the design stage for the required intersection improvements and signalization at the Route 605 intersections with Riley Road and Rogues Road resulting from the school and local residential development.  These improvements are targeted for completion in July of 2007.

Section 3-408.3 of the Zoning Ordinance

This Section requires a Special Exception application in the RA district to provide 13% of its acreage in open space.  Parcel A totals 209.7+ acres, and would require 27.3 acres in open space.  For just the proposed HS-3, excluding the building, parking areas and even the athletic fields and facilities, over 80 percent of Parcel A is in open space.  Note that the School Board reserves the right to use a portion of that open space acreage later, since there may be another school planned onsite in the future.  That future option is not the subject of this application.  However, note that an additional school would require either a separate Special Exception or an amendment to the HS-3 approved Special Exception; both would be subject to public notifications and hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.  Regardless, the minimum open space requirement would be 27.3 acres for the overall Parcel A (13% of the site) and the floodplain/wetland acreage can be included.

Section 5-504.1(B) of the Zoning Ordinance

This Section requires the school to provide for each student 430 square feet of usable outdoor recreation space that may be in use at any one time. The school development program provides 14.8 acres of active recreation space.

Section 5-504.2 of the Zoning Ordinance

This Section requires that all recreation areas shall be fully fenced.  All competition athletic fields, including discus and shot put, and tennis courts will be fenced; while the P.E./Soccer Fields will not.  Note that a potion of the northern perimeter of the site is also fenced.  No recreation area or field is within 500 feet of the northern property line, while all athletic fields and facilities are over 1000 feet from the western property line, with the exception of the tennis courts (+ 800 feet from Route 602). The 100-year floodplain is to the immediate south of these facilities.

Section 5-006(8) of the Zoning Ordinance

This Section states that the proposed use shall not degrade air quality, surface and groundwater quality and quantity in such a way that would hinder or discourage the appropriate development and/or use of adjacent land and/or buildings or impair the value thereof.

The site contains a Heron Rookery along Kettle Run.  During a 2004 public hearing for the approved WSA elevated water storage facility Special Exception on the former Mabel V. Lunceford, Estate property, residents indicated that a heron rookery existed onsite.  Therefore, the Department of Community Development invited the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) to identify any such habitat in October of 2005.  Within the 33 acres of FEMA 100-year floodplain on the entire property, Great Blue Heron nests were found.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineer staff has also viewed the site at a different time.

 Staff has received a comment letter from the Citizens for Fauquier County.  They note that the site has extensive natural resources and highlight six (6) key points:

·        The VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries recommends a 500-foot natural, forested buffer and a 1,320-foot construction buffer around the Heron Rookery during nesting season.

·        Enhance environmental education opportunities to design native landscaping on campus.

·        Require Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater management system.

·        Careful design for bus parking and maintenance to minimize pollution and toxic run-off.

·        Consider an advisory committee of community members to interact with builders/architects.

·        Suggest park use for additional land that is on the south side of the wetlands

The Great Blue Heron is not considered an endangered species, nor subject to the 1,320-foot protection radius for such species as recommended by VDGIF.  No special management provisions are required; however, the area within the vicinity of the nesting area will be planned as open space or P.E./Soccer fields, both compatible uses adjoining such a habitat that is located inside the 100-year floodplain. Additional emphasis also is provided that no land disturbing activities will occur within the 100-year floodplain of Kettle Run (with the only possible exception of a limited underground sewer line connection to Rogues Road) or result in any wetland disturbance.  The WSA has production wells that are also delineated on the Special Exception Plat, but are not subject to this application.

It is also noteworthy that the Board of Supervisors has not finalized how it plans to use the 96+ acres of Parcel B on the south side of the 100-year floodplain. However, very preliminary discussions have indicated that one option could be an environmental or a more passive park.

2.      Special Exception (Public Utilities – Category 20)

In order to connect the School Board site to WSA sewer services, a small above ground sewage pumping station will be required.  The Special Exception Plat identifies the location along the edge of the 100-year floodplain, and provides an elevation drawing of the planned structure.  The School Board intends the design of the pumping station and the connecting sewer lines to be sized to exclusively serve this site.

The facility will be a duplex submersible non-clog wastewater pump station of approximately 125 gallons per minute capacity, designed to the Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority (FCWSA) standards.  The pump station will be located within an approximate 100 feet by 100 feet, fenced and gated lot with an all weather access road.  Emergency power and all electrical service will be provided by the school.

Pump station appurtenances will include (subject to FCWSA approval) a six inch diameter non-sparking duplex wet well (below grade) with valve box. Architectural treatment is assumed to be a pre-cast concrete building with a flat roof and separate electrical control hut.

 

Land Area, Location and Zoning:    

The entire property is zoned Rural Agriculture (RA) and is located on the east side of Route 602 (Rogues Road).  It is: (a) north of Eddington Drive, which leads into the Brookside-Waterfield community; (b) across the street from  the Grapewood Estates Subdivision; and (c) just south of the “back” entrance to Vint Hill (Finch Lane) and the Kettleridge subdivision on Kennedy Road.  A map of the property is attached here.                                                                 

              

  

    Vicinity Map for the Property (Formerly: Lunceford Estate)


  


 

                                                                                             

Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:

The property is currently zoned Rural Agricultural (RA) and is bound to the north and east by Residential-1 (R-1) and RA; to the south by RA and to the west by R-1.  Rogues Road (Route 602) functions as the edge of the New Baltimore Service District.  Thus, the  property located to the west of the project parcel is within the New Baltimore Service District and has been developed as a single-family detached residential neighborhood.

 

Staff Report for Special Exceptions:

Special Exception SPEX05-CT-017:

Category 5 to allow for a school in the RA zoning district.

The Zoning Ordinance requires a Category 5, Institutional Uses, Special Exception when constructing a school.  The applicant must comply with the General Standards in Section 5-006 as well as Section 5-500, Educational Uses, of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance. 

Special Exception SPEX05-CT-018:

Category 20 Special Exception to allow for an above ground sewer pumping facility.

At this point in the process, the proposed sewer pumping station has not been fully engineered (designed) nor has the exact location been determined.  The applicant notes that it is likely that there will be above ground features associated with this facility.  If it were approved, the site would be served by the Vint Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant and Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority (WSA) would have to take over the system for operation and maintenance.  The WSA has not provided comments at this time.  The site plan for this proposed facility is under initial review for WSA requirements.  Additionally, although engineered design is not available, the location of the proposed public sewer and public water lines within roadway right-of-way must be determined.  According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, it is not clear at this time if there is adequate right-of-way available for utilities location.  This issue is better handled through the site plan process.

Referral Agency Comments:

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 actual responses from referral agencies are available upon request.

Staff notes that many of the referral agencies provided “no comment” as their input was incorporated into the project in the pre-application phase.

 

 

Engineering Considerations

The Engineering Office has reviewed the above referenced plan. The following issues need to be addressed:

1.      A condition of approval should include: The applicant will have the ability to process Infrastructure Plans for offsite road and utilities improvements independent from the Major Site Plan for the onsite improvements.  Note that this action assists in simplifying the design and approval process for the Route 605/676 and Route 605/602 intersection improvements and signalization efforts.

2.      Category 5 – Special Exception: Drainage from improved areas is to be directed away from WSA well lots.

3.      Category 20 – Special Exception: No fill associated with the pump station is to be in jurisdictional wetlands or floodplain. During construction, safety fence should be installed around the wetlands in the proximity of the sanitary pump station construction.

Virginia Department of Transportation

The Warrenton Residency staff reviewed the applications and their comments are minor and do not warrant any delay in moving this application forward.

Traffic Impact Study

1.      Exhibit 8A on page 18 – The distribution percentages do not add up to 100 percent.

2.      Exhibit 10 on page 20 – A separate exhibit was not provided for the bus trips/fueling facility for 2014 as was done for 2008, but these additional trips were not added to this exhibit.  Therefore, the trips do not appear to be calculated in 2014 traffic analysis. (Note this facility is not part of the application, and will be a separate application in the future.)

3.      Exhibits C-1 thru C-6 in Appendix C – Distribution percentages are not 100 percent.

Attachment 5 is MCV, the School Board’s Transportation Consultant, response to VDOT’s comments.

Comprehensive Development Plan

1.      Comprehensive Development Plan does not show the proposed road improvements indicated in the Traffic Impact Study. (Note the New Baltimore Service District Plan under citizen planning committee review includes the Route 602/605 intersection and Route 602 improvements reflected in the 3rd High School TIA.)

2.      Dimension right-of-way width on Route 602 from centerline to property line.

3.      Water line serving the school is indicated to be just for the schools use, and should be located outside of the right-of-way.  Private utility lines are not permitted to be placed parallel within the right-of-way.
 

4.      It is unclear if the proposed sewer line is located within the right-of-way of Route 602.  It appears as if the proposed sewer line may be on the edge of pavement of Route 602, and will need to be relocated.  If the sewer line is also a private line for the school, it will need to be relocated outside of the right-of-way.

 

Planning Commssion Recommendation:

On March 30, 2006, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on these items.  The Commission voted unanimously to forward the applications to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation of approval.  In addition, the Planning Commission made a finding that the location of the proposed high school is in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.

Staff concurs with the Planning Commission’s recommendations.

At the Planning Commission work session, the Commission discussed the incorporation of Low Impact Design (LID) principles regarding design of the stormwater management facilities.  The applicant was willing to consider this type of design.

 

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

Fauquier County Department of Community Development

Virginia Department of Transportation

Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority

Fauquier County School Board

Fauquier County Public Service Departments

ATTACHMENTS:

1.      Comprehensive Plan Statement of Justification

2.      Special Exception Statement of Justification

3.      Citizens for Fauquier County letter

4.     Special Exception Plat

5.      Virginia Department of Transportation letter

 

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