Article 6 of the Zoning Ordinance limits the types and
locations of accessory uses and structures. One such
accessory structure authorized by 6-102.18 is a flagpole.
The general provisions for accessory structures in Section
6-101 limit the location of accessory structures to the same
property as the primary use, except that owners of multiple
adjoining residential lots may use the additional lots for
accessory residential structures. The exception does not
extend to commercial properties, and the owner of multiple
commercial properties may not place accessory structures,
including flagpoles, off-premise.
This issue has been raised because the CFC Farm & Home
Center located on Route 17 near Morrisville would like to
place a flagpole off-premise, on an adjoining property they
own fronting Route 17 next to their off-premise sign. The
Board of Supervisors approved a text amendment in 2006 to
allow a single sign to be placed on the off-premise location
with approval of a special permit.
The proposed amendment would allow a single flagpole
associated with a commercial business to be located on an
adjoining property not utilized for the primary use. Staff
would note that the type of flag allowed on the flagpole
would only include flags of the United States, the
Commonwealth of Virginia, Fauquier County, other Counties
and states and similar flags as listed under Section 8-301.6
of the Zoning Ordinance. Any other flag would constitute a
second off-premise sign and would not be allowed.
Staff would note that flagpoles are exempt from the height
limits of the Zoning Ordinance, but in a district where
residences are allowed, the flagpole must be set back from
the nearest property line a distance equal to its height
pursuant to Section 2-506. In the case of CFC, the zoning
is RA/Rural Agriculture, which does allow residences,
therefore the setback requirement for any flagpole will be
equal to the height of the flagpole. Because the CFC parcel
is extremely narrow, about 40 feet wide at its largest
point, any flagpole will be limited in height to
approximately 20 feet on that particular property.
The proposed text amendment was initiated by the Planning
Commission on February 28, 2008. After a public hearing on
March 27, 2008, the Planning Commission voted 4-1 to
recommend denial of the proposed amendment, Mr. Meadows
voting against the motion.