PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owner/Applicant:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Fauquier Health Systems, Inc.

 

May 8, 2008

 

Staff Lead:
Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning

Department:
Community Development

 

Magisterial District:
Scott

 

PIN:
6995-89-2285-096

Topic:

A Resolution to Approve SEAM08-SC-004 A Category 6 Special Exception Amendment to Previously Approved Special Exception: SEAM07-SC-001 for a Continuing Care Facility

 

Topic Description: 

The applicant seeks to amend a previously approved Special Exception to allow for additional building square footage to accommodate the full range of services to be provided for residents of the previously approved 72-bed (with no more than 60 units total) Assisted Living Facility located at Suffield Meadows.

Project Information:

On June 14, 2007, the Board of Supervisors approved a Special Exception amendment to allow for additional beds at the Assisted Living Facility (ALF).  Fauquier Health Systems, Inc., which is part of Fauquier Hospital, owns and will operate the facility.   

Since the original Special Exception approval in 2002, this use category in the RA (Rural Agricultural) Zoning District has been removed from the Zoning Ordinance.  Thus, Suffield Meadows is classified as a legal non-conforming use.  Although the “Continuing Care Facility” is no longer allowed in the RA district it is still possible to allow the requested increase in the use under the provisions of Zoning Ordinance Section 5-004(2).  This referenced section allows the Board of Supervisors to “specifically waive or modify requirements for obtaining additional permits for the enlarging, extending, increasing in intensity or relocation of previously approved Special Exception uses in unusual cases when the change is not significant.”  

The applicant has provided building layouts and elevations for the proposed assisted living facility.  The previously approved Special Exception included a building up to 54,200 square feet with a first floor footprint of 31,750 square feet.  The new proposal is for a total building size of 74,396 square feet with a first floor footprint of 41,421 square feet.  The total number of beds (72) has not changed.  According to the applicant, the increase in building size affords a better quality of life for the residents of the ALF.

The layout is a series of little neighborhoods that each have a common area for residents that contains a country kitchen and living room.  There are also a variety of amenities offered such as barber/beauty shop, store, mail room, movie room, card room, library, large living room, a bistro, activities room, wellness/PT, clinic/exam room, classroom and dining hall.  The new design also has wider hallways to allow better access for wheelchairs or scooters.  The design also includes a memory unit.

Typically an assisted living facility will provide assistance, to its residents, with daily services such as grooming, personal hygiene, eating, housekeeping, nutrition and medications.  Physical therapy, cultural programs and social activities are also included for residents.  Additionally residents of the Suffield Meadows development may use the services provided at the ALF.  For example, if a resident is recuperating from a knee surgery and requires physical therapy, they may schedule it at the ALF.  These services would not be open to all Fauquier County residents and that theme is consistent with the original intent of the community being one where residents could “age in place” and, if needed, go from their homes in the age-restricted condominium community to the ALF and not have to leave their neighborhood.

Staff has also included an addition to the previously approved Special Exception Condition 31; the addition is in italics:

Prior to and for the duration of construction, the applicant shall provide safety fencing twenty (20) feet beyond the perimeter of the drainfields and reserve areas to ensure no excavation and construction activities would render the sites void.  The location of such fencing shall be submitted with the Site Plan/Construction Plan.  The twenty (20) foot buffer area may be reduced if approved by the Virginia Department of Health.

This text will allow for some flexibility with reducing the fencing requirement (distance from the drainfield reserve area), during construction, if approved by the Virginia Department of Health.  The site is very constrained and final engineering and design may result in a need for this reduction.

 

Land Area, Location and Zoning:  

The property is located on Lee Highway (Route 29) at the intersection of Suffield Lane.  The property is zoned RA.  A map of the property is shown below.

                  

 

Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:

The property is bound by RA and Residential-1 (R-1) to the north; R-1 to the east; Route 15/29 to the south and RA to the west.

 

Staff Analysis:

The building design has incorporated aesthetics (blending in with the Suffield Meadow residential development) and addressed the size and screening of the proposed assisted living facility and minimized impact as viewed from Route 29.  The maximum building height in the district is 35 feet; the building will meet this standard.

Although the “Continuing Care Facility” is no longer allowed in the RA/Rural Agricultural District, Zoning Ordinance Section 5-004(2) allows the Board of Supervisors to “specifically waive or modify requirements for obtaining additional permits for the enlarging, extending, increasing in intensity or relocation of previously approved Special Exception uses in unusual cases when the change is not significant.”  In staff’s view, this standard has been achieved.

Staff has also refined a Special Exception condition related to the fencing of drainfields during construction to allow the Virginia Department of Health to provide a variance, if needed.

 

Summary and Recommendations:

Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors consider approval for this request.  The previously approved Special Exception included a building up to 54,200 square feet with a first floor footprint of 31,750 square feet.  The new proposal is for a total building size of 74,396 square feet with a first floor footprint of 41,421 square feet.  The number of beds (72) has not changed.  This does not represent a significant change to the originally approved Special Exception or the previously approved Special Exception Amendment.

Planning Commission Action:

On April 24, 2008, the Fauquier County Planning Commission unanimously approved the Special Exception subject to a series of Special Exception conditions.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing.  If the Board of Supervisors wishes to act, Conditions of Approval, as recommended by the Planning Commission, are provided in the resolution.

 

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

Fauquier County Department of Community Development

The Residents of Suffield Meadows

Attachments:

1.      Special Exception Plat (April 10, 2008)

2.      Building Elevation/Layout

 

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