Staff and Review Agency Comments

Marriott Ranch: Applicant wishes to obtain a Category 9 Special Exception (SPEX08-MA-013) to operate a hunting preserve and a Category 9 Special Permit (SPPT08-MA-032) for clay target shooting and a firing range.

Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations. Findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below. Following each comment is a staff note in italics stating how the comment has been addressed.

Virginia Department of Transportation


The following comments are presented with the objective of assisting the applicant and his professional in understanding VDOT requirements and acceptable Engineering Practice in regard to this project.  These comments have been developed after a very preliminary review of the material submitted to us for this project to-date.  They are not intended, nor do they represent a full and complete review of this project.  VDOT intends that they will highlight typical concerns regarding the type of project planned, and hope that they are of assistance to you in the development of your project.  VDOT comments are as follows:

  1. Provide information on the size of the groups that would be allowed.

(The applicant indicated in the Statement of Justification that hunting groups (preserve) would be no larger than eight people.  Clay target shooting would also be of a limited size group.  Special Exception conditions have been drafted to address these uses.  The proposed uses are accessory uses to the ranch and participants in these programs would already be at the ranch for other purposes such as a corporate retreat, weekend stay, etc. and thus, would not generate additional or new traffic.)

  1. The entrance should be evaluated to ensure it is adequate.  Is an existing entrance going to be used or a new entrance?

(Existing entrance and roads will be used.  The applicant should schedule a site visit with VDOT to be certain the existing entrance is adequate.  A Special Exception condition has been drafted so the use is contingent upon approval of appropriate VDOT entrance requirements.)



The Engineering Department has reviewed the above referenced Special Exception, Category 9, to use 200 +/- acres as a hunting preserve and the Special Permit, Category 9, to allow clay target shooting and a firing range at designated sites.  Based on the review, our office has the following comments.

Condition of Approval

1)      There is to be no fill or storage of material and equipment in the FEMA regulated floodplain without a Special Exception.

(The applicant does not propose any construction or fill in the FEMA 100-year floodplain.)


1)      Due to proximity of the shooting and sporting clay range to environmentally sensitive areas such as floodplain, it is recommended that the applicant implement lead best management practices in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s manual, “Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges”, to minimize the potential for lead contamination of Fiery Run.

(A Special Exception condition indicating no lead shot in the floodplain has been prepared.)

Virginia Department of Health

The Health Department has the following comments:

Although it is not explicitly stated in the request, it was stated during the Pre-Application meeting that the birds which are hunted would be prepared and served to participating guests.  The department would require that the "pen raised" birds be obtained from an approved source which is inspected and certified by the USDA or VA Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Marriott Ranch would be responsible for collecting and maintaining copies of any applicable health records and/or facility certifications.  Since the birds will not be served to the general public the department does not object to the preparation of the birds on site.

(Special Exception conditions include Health Department’s comments.)

Soil Scientist

Code Compliance:

Prevent unnecessary loss or degradation of natural resources, including prime farmland, steep slopes, floodplains and seasonally wet soils.  Prime farmland includes 2A and 10A.  Steep slopes include 121E and 221D.  Floodplains include soil map 2A and 4A.  Seasonally wet soils include soil map units 2A, 4A, 9A, 10A and 15B (Zoning Ordinance 2-406)

(Information for the applicant.)


Soil map units 18C, 18D, 20C, 20D, 121C, 121D, 121E and 221E have bedrock at 20 to 40 inches.  If excavation is necessary for shooting range or clay target range, there is a high probability of encountering bedrock that will require blasting to excavate.

(Information for the applicant.)

Zoning Office

1.         The proposed uses must be evaluated pursuant to the following standards in the Zoning Ordinance:

            a.         Commercial Hunting Preserve

                        Article 5-006 General Standards

                        Article 5-901 Standards for All Category 9 Uses

                        Article 5-913 Standards for Commercial Hunting and Fishing Preserves

            b.         Firing Range, Skeet or Trapshooting Facility

                        Article 5-006 General Standards

                        Article 5-901 Standards for All Category 9 Uses

                        Article 5-904 Standards for Firing Range, Skeet or Trapshooting Facility

(See Planning Office evaluation below.)

Planning Office

General standards seek to ensure that the requested use does not adversely affect neighboring properties.  All Category 9 (Article 5-901) uses must have parking areas 50 feet from adjoining residential district.  In this case there are no adjoining residential districts.

Article 5-913, Standards for Commercial Hunting and Fishing Preserves requires noise and safety buffers and for bird shooting activities steel pellets when warranted.  These issues have been addressed in the Special Exception conditions.

Article 5-904, Standards for Firing Ranges, Skeet and Trapshooting Facilities has minimum lot size, design and setbacks.  These have been met.  Conditions incorporate refinements to address safety and noise.  Safety conditions have been imposed, including evidence that the proposed development meets all applicable state and county laws.

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