Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Planning Commission 

May 14, 2009

Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 5-504 to Eliminate the Requirement for Fencing of Recreational Fields for Primary, Secondary/Advanced and Technical Schools


Topic Description:

The Special Permit and Special Exception standards for Primary, Secondary/Advanced and Indoor Technical Schools require that all recreation areas be fully fenced.  This proposed text amendment would eliminate the fencing requirement.


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:


The recent special exception application related to relocation of play fields at Kettle Run High School raised an issue related to fencing of fields.  The Special Exception standards for such schools require that the fields be fully fenced, and this standard cannot be waived by the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors.     The Schools did not desire to fence the fields, and the Planning Commission questioned the purpose of the fencing requirement.

Staff has reviewed the standards for educational uses and also for other outdoor recreational uses, and has found that the fencing requirement is in place only for two categories of uses:

1.    Pre-School/Day Care/Nursery Schools; and

2.    Primary Schools/Secondary/Advanced Schools and Technical Schools.

Other uses involving outdoor recreational facilities or fields do not have a fencing requirement, although they do typically have setback requirements of 50 to 100 feet and screening requirements. 

Given the age of the children utilizing a pre-school/day care/nursery school recreational facility, the fencing requirement makes sense as a protection for the children from roadway traffic or uses on adjoining properties.   It is unclear that such protection is necessary for older children or adults who might utilize the facilities under #2, above. This text amendment therefore eliminates the requirement for fencing for Secondary/Advanced Schools and Technical Schools and allows fencing at Primary Schools to be waived by the Board.  In particular cases where the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors has concerns about the location of a facility relative to a street or another use, fencing still could be required on a case-by-case basis as part of the special exception approval. Staff would note that such facilities would continue to have requirements that they be located outside of required yards and that they be screened.

The Planning Commission initiated this text amendment at their February 26, 2009 meeting.    On March 26, 2009, after holding a public hearing on the proposed amendment, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval.

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

Fauquier  County Schools

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