Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Larry & Cynthia Weeks (Owners/Applicants)


May 12, 2005

Staff Lead:



Charles A. Floyd, Senior Planner

Community Development


Magisterial District:  Scott



Service District:  New Baltimore





A Resolution to Approve SPEX05-SC-022:  A Category 29 Special Exception to Waive the Public Street Requirement in a Residential Zone, with Associated Waivers of Article 7-302.1.C of the Zoning Ordinance, and Sections 5-7, 9-5, and 10-5 of the Subdivision Ordinance


Topic Description:


In this proposal, the applicants are trying to correct past platting errors that occurred in 1978.  The Weeks (applicants) owned a 1.0-acre single-family dwelling site described as PIN 7915-19-3828-000, which they currently occupy.  In 1978 the Weeks acquired another 1.0-acre parcel, owned by Rye Wood, identified as PIN 7915-19-5847-000 (hereinafter described as the subject parcel).  At the time of transfer of ownership of the subject parcel from Rye Wood to the Weeks, there was a plat recorded with the transfer.  This plat indicated with a note that the subject parcel was being added to an “existing parcel” or the one owned by the Weeks.  This note implied that the subject parcel was consolidated or boundary line adjusted into the existing Weeks’ property.


The Director of Community Development, in a memorandum to Mr. Larry Weeks dated November 16, 2004, made a finding that the note was put on the plat in error.  It was also concluded that there was no boundary line adjustment approved by Fauquier County in 1978.  The memorandum goes further in stating that the record plat and deed recorded with the transfer reflect a new division line that distinctly separated these two (2) properties.  However, the memorandum concluded that the subject parcel was created as a “discrete parcel of record,” which has no state road frontage, does not meet the building lot requirements of the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances.  To correct the deficiencies and have an official lot, several options were identified in the referenced memorandum (Attachment 1).  The Special Exception and waiver requests herein were the most practical approaches to solve the problem. 


The Weeks have owned maintained and paid taxes on each separate parcel for approximately 27 years and they are asking to correct past errors, so that they may have two discrete parcels.




To accomplish their goal, and to bring the subject parcel into compliance with all applicable Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance requirements, the Weeks have applied for a Category 29 Special Exception (see Attachment 2) to waive the public street requirement in a residential zone.  Article 7-301.2 of the Zoning Ordinance stipulates that private streets are prohibited in residential zoning districts, unless a Special Exception is obtained and the requirements of Article 5-2900 of the Zoning Ordinance are satisfied.


Section 5-2900 states that the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors can grant the request to permit a private street when the following standards are met:


  1. The requirements of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) necessary for the dedication of public streets will not permit the development of the proposed subdivision in a manner in which is in harmony with the surrounding character of the neighborhood or the proposed development scheme.


VDOT will not accept a street that does not serve at least three (3) different property owners.  This proposed private street will only serve two (2).  Therefore, this application does meet the requirement of 5-2900 of the Zoning Ordinance.  Not to mention that they are proposing to use a 20-foot access easement that would essentially be a driveway.  VDOT does not accept right-of-way less than 50 feet in width


  1. The proposed private street, based on the anticipated traffic volume, would adequately serve the lot(s) proposed and provide sufficient emergency vehicle access to the subdivision, and that provisions are made for maintenance for the street by a homeowners association (HOA).


According to VDOT a single lot yields 10 vehicle trips per day (VPD), which is very minimal, and the proposed easement will more than adequately serve one house.  The 20-foot wide ingress/egress easement will also provide adequate accessibility for emergency vehicles to enter the property, since some driveways are only 8 feet in width.  As long as the entrance is constructed to current VDOT standards, and provisions for maintenance of the private street are recorded with the plat or deed, the proposed private street should be acceptable and adequate.


The applicants are also seeking waivers of Article 7-302.1.C of the Zoning Ordinance, which requires the private street easement be a minimum of fifty (50) feet in width, and Section 5-7 of the Subdivision Ordinance that stipulates that a street right-of-way shall not be less than fifty (50) feet.  The Weeks are proposing a 20-foot wide easement instead of the required 50 feet.


Staff concurs with the applicant’s Statement of Justification that this modification will not impact anyone, will only access one (1) lot, and will not be taken into the Secondary System of State Highways.  Staff would like to also mention that if the 50-foot easement is required that the existing dwelling on the Weeks’ property would be in violation of Zoning Ordinance setback requirements.  The applicant’s Statement of Justification is included as Attachment 3.


Finally, the applicants are asking for waivers of Sections 9-5 (Preliminary Plan Requirements) and 10-5 (Construction Drawings) to allow for the record plat to serve as both the Preliminary Plat and Construction Drawings.  This will not remove the approvals required by both VDOT and the Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority (FCWSA).  These will still be mandatory.


Staff also agrees with the applicant, as stated in their Statement of Justification, that they are simply trying to correct past errors, and that they are simply trying to bring the subject lot into conformance with all applicable ordinances.  These waivers will have no impact on the number of lots, configuration of lots, or subdivision potential of the lots.  Also the only public improvement that is being proposed is a new entrance.  This entrance must meet VDOT standards to be granted an entrance permit. These waivers do not eliminate the platting requirements outlined in Section 10-4 of the Subdivision Ordinance. 


Zoning/Acreage/Land Use:


The parcels are approximately 2.0 acres zoned Residential-1 (R-1). All adjacent properties are zoned Residential-1 (R-1) with some commercially zoned property at the intersection of Riley Road (Route 676) and Broad Run Church Road (Route 600).  Note that WSA water and sewer is available to the property.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Hold a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached resolution for approval.


Planning Commission Action:

On April 26, 2005, the Planning Commission held a public hearing and recommended approval of SPEX05-SC-022, subject to the following conditions:


  1. Sight distance easements, if needed, shall be recorded prior to Final Plat approval.


  1. If a culvert is required for the entrance, it should be a minimum of 15 inches in diameter and be able to pass a 10-year storm event without overtopping.


  1. The applicant shall meet all VDOT sight distance/line of sight requirements prior to Final Plat approval or when required by VDOT.




As depicted on the location map, the parcel is on the east side of State Route 676 (Riley Road) south of its intersection with Broad Run Church Road (Route 600) in Scott Magisterial District. 






Location Map




Staff Analysis:


Staff has reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations.  Staff has also reviewed all other documents relating to this application. 


Engineering Considerations:


The Fauquier County Engineer’s Office has reviewed the Special Exception Plat and accompanying waiver requests and has the following comments:


  • The applicant should verify with VDOT that the site distance shown is adequate.


  • If a culvert is required for the entrance, it should be a minimum of 15 inches diameter and be able to pass a 10-year storm event without overtopping.


Virginia Department of Transportation  (VDOT) Considerations:


The Warrenton Residency of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) comments are listed below.  Please note that the line of sight issue no longer exists.  At the Planning Commission work session VDOT stated that the applicants’ access meets the required line of sight requirements within the established pubic right-of-way.


·        The sight distance profile should indicate the design and/or posted speed used to calculate the sight distance. 


·        It appears that the line of sight was calculated approximately 18 feet from edge of pavement, but VDOT generally measure it at 10 feet from edge of pavement.  Measured at 18 feet, the line of sight is being shown outside of the right-of-way and would require a sight distance easement on this property and the adjacent property.  It also appears as if the existing trees may interfere with the line of the sight.


·        Label the width of the entrance and indicate the entrance will be constructed in accordance with VDOT’s PE-1 standard.


·        VDOT has no comment on the waiver of the street width as this street would need to service three or more separate owners in order to meet eligibility requirements for state acceptance.


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


1.      VDOT




  1. Mr. Carr’s Memorandum dated 11-16-04
  2. Special Exception and Waiver Plat
  3. Statement of Justification
  4. Engineering Office Comments
  5. VDOT Comments