Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

 Planning Commission

April 13, 2006


Staff Lead:


Frederick P.D. Carr, Director


Community Development


A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Sections 4-104 and 4-106 of the Planned Residential Development District (PRD) Regarding Use Limitations


Topic Description:

The text amendment proposes that the Planned Residential Development (PRD) District be amended for areas designated in the Comprehensive Plan as Town Center or Mixed Use areas.  The purpose of the revised amendment is to allow commercial and office development pursuant to C-1 (Commercial Neighborhood) standards, as modified through the rezoning process, and consistent with Comprehensive Plan and applicable guidelines. The more detailed analysis and justification are cited in the Summary Update Section.

The commercial/office uses and development scale must be consistent with the adopted Service District Plan and development guidelines, and would be subject to the provisions of the Planned Residential Development (PRD) and Commercial Neighborhood (C-1) district and their associated standards.  A rezoning application under PRD provisions is also allowed to request modifications to requirements affecting C-1 development (e.g., use limitations, parking, landscaping) pursuant to the provisions of Section 4-112.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached Ordinance.

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Summary Staff Report:


A.     Background Information. 

1.     Comprehensive Plans.  The purpose of the text amendment is summarized in the topic description.  The Bealeton, Marshall and New Baltimore Service District Plans have such hub areas and provisions as generally stated.  As part of the 5-year review, the Citizen Planning Committee is reviewing and refining the New Baltimore Service District Plan for the Vint Hill area.  Here is the refinement language that is pending Citizen Planning Committee review:

§         Community Expectations. Due to the Brookside Parkway corridor which links Route 605 to Route 215, the New Baltimore Service District Plan envisions Vint Hill to include a Town Center.  This neo-traditional hub is expected, for example, to include restaurants, theater, retail and office space, mixes of 2nd and 3rd floor apartments and condominium units, single-family attached units (with some provision for work force housing), a stream valley park connected to the overall Vint Hill park and open space elements, linked to the internal and perimeter trail system as well as to the Brookside/Waterfield community systems. This core needs multiple access points to the Brookside Parkway and Route 602. 

Due to the reserved sewer capacity for Vint Hill, the Town Center is expected to be more compact, with higher residential densities and some buildings that may reach 3-stories in height.  Added residential is acceptable in this hub location, mixed as 2nd and 3rd floor apartments and condominiums and single-family attached units.   

§         Public Comments at Planning Commission Public Hearings. Suggestions included, for example:  (a) the proposal needed standards describing the allowable commercial scale and density; (b) restrict business development to the neighborhood commercial envisioned within the PRD; and (c) establish a separate commercial overlay district.

B.     Proposed Refinements. 

1.     Existing PRD Standards. The Zoning Ordinance’s Planned Residential Development District (PRD) regulations present a variety of use limitations.  For example, in Section 4-106 (b), commercial development is restricted to a cumulative maximum of 100 square feet for each residential dwelling unit; while Section 4-106 (g) restricts residential unit density above street level, not to exceed one dwelling unit per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area in buildings devoted to commercial/office uses. Restricting the commercial/office development within the PRD to a commercial neighborhood scale is the intent of the PRD Overlay District.  However, an applicant needs to be provided the opportunity to propose expanded business square footage under specified conditions.


The following examples of the impacts of using the existing PRD and C-1 neighborhood standards within the Zoning Ordinance are provided for Board of Supervisors consideration.

a.       Freedom Place.  Using Freedom Place as an existing model, the applicant has identified 341 residential units within its proposed PRD rezoning application.  As a result of the current PRD standard (cumulative maximum of 100 square feet for each dwelling unit), the project can only construct up to 34,100 square feet of commercial development on its designated 8 acres of neighborhood commercial.  The latter square footage represents 10% of the commercial land area. The Department questions the consumption of that much valuable land for limited commercial/office development. Here the PRD standard serves as a deterrent to business development in locations where it may be preferred.

Due to stormwater management, parking and landscape/open space requirements, C-1 (Commercial-Neighborhood) properties in Fauquier County generally have buildings that cover between 18% and 25% of the site.  If existing C-1 zoning standards were available to the Freedom Place project, then business development could result in 62,300 to 87,120 of building square footage on the designated 8 acres. 

b.      Liberty Station.  This approved project in the Bealeton Service District had a Commercial Neighborhood (C-1) portion with apartments.  The C-1 acreage totaled + 8 acres and will have a commercial building square footage, depending on market conditions, that will range from 70,225 to 109,250 square feet, or 20% to 31% coverage.  The reason the building square footage is higher results from the shared parking and on-street parking that was approved through a special exception in 2004.


2.     Recommendations. 

a.       Commercial Neighborhood Provisions. The amendment as presented for final Planning Commission public hearing on March 30th has been revised to allow commercial/office uses to be subject to Commercial – Neighborhood (C-1) Use Limitations as described within Sections 3-401 through 3-401-410.  With this revision, the applicant would be required to identify, as part of the rezoning application and Concept Development Plan, the area to be developed as a “Commercial-Neighborhood” and whether it is being developed in accordance with the existing PRD standards stipulated in Section 4-106 (b), (c), (d) and (g), or subject to C-1 Use Limitations. Otherwise, all other Zoning Ordinance provisions for the PRD Overlay District apply.

In order to qualify for the C-1, the proposed Commercial-Neighborhood must be located specifically where adopted Service District Plans have designated specific “town” core areas for higher density residential, institutional/office, mixed use and Town Center development.  As part of that justification and location, the applicant is required to demonstrate and explain how the commercial neighborhood as proposed is consistent with the associated Comprehensive Plan guidelines and associated provisions for that specific location and the adjoining neighborhoods.  The expansive criteria are shown in the actual ordinance which is attached.

Note that the C-1 requirements specify a special exception process for residential units above commercial/office uses (Zoning Ordinance Section 3-301.1.d).  However, it is proposed and recommended herein that, for applicants who choose and adequately justify the Commercial Neighborhood option in a PRD rezoning with residential units above the commercial uses, the rezoning application can be substituted in lieu of the special exception application.

b.      Urban Cottages.  There is an unrelated edit that needs to be completed for “Urban Cottages” in Part 3, 15-300, Article 15 of the Zoning Ordinance (Definitions). Even though it is termed a scrivener’s error, the Zoning Office found an incorrect reference in the definition.  Since it represents a scrivener’s error, the Department will immediately correct the reference as shown below:

Urban Cottages:  An accessory dwelling unit which is a secondary dwelling established in conjunction with, clearly, subordinate and secondary to, and located on the same lot or parcel as a single family detached unit.  Such a unit shall be allowed only in the Planned Residential District and only in accordance with the provisions of Section 4-106(g) 4-106(f).

Planning Commission Action:  On March 30th, the Planning Commission unanimously forwarded the attached PRD text amendment to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation it be adopted as presented.


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

Property Owners


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