Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Crane’s Corner, LLC, Owner/Applicant


May 17, 2004

Staff Lead:




Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning


Community Development

Magisterial District:  Lee District



Service District:  Bealeton






An Ordinance to Approve Rezoning REZN04-LE-001, Liberty Station


A Resolution to Approve SPEX04-LE-018, a Category 1 Special Exception to Allow Dwelling Units Above Commercial Uses


Topic Description:


The purpose of the applicant's Rezoning and Special Exception requests is to provide for a Town Center concept as planned for in the Bealeton Service District Plan.  The rezoning of a portion of the Liberty Station commercial development from Commercial - Highway (C-2) to Commercial-Neighborhood (C-1) would allow the property to have a mix of commercial and residential components.  The applicant has also requested a reduction in parking requirements for the site, pursuant to Zoning Ordinance Sections 5-103.2.e, 7-102.3, and 7-102.4.


The Liberty Station commercial development is ±12.135 acres in size.  The rezoning request for C-1 pertains to the back portion of the parcel adjacent to Willow Drive North, and is ±7.839 acres in size.  The portion fronting Route 17 (4.295 acres) would remain C-2.  Two pad sites along Village Center Drive (2.491 acres) that were part of the original parcel now have separate PINs and will also remain C-2.  The property is located on the east side of Marsh Road (Route 17) and the southeast side of Catlett Road (Route 28).


The commercial/office/retail square footage as permitted with the Reynard's Crossing rezoning would increase from 70,067 square feet to 110,000 square feet, with an option to locate a maximum of forty (40) apartments over shops.  The Category 1 Special Exception would permit the 40 apartments above the commercial uses. 


On January 20, 2004, the Board of Supervisors adopted Zoning Ordinance text amendments to Sections 3-301.1 and 5-103, which permit residential uses in C-1 and Commercial Village (CV) zoning districts.  These sections pertain to the standards for all residential uses in C-1 and CV districts and allow for a dwelling above a commercial unit with a Special Exception.  Based on that text amendment, the applicant has filed the companion Special Exception request to permit mixed use buildings.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


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


Financial Impact Analysis:


There is no fiscal impact analysis required for this request.

Planning Commission Recommendation:


After several public hearings, the Planning Commission has recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve Rezoning #REZN04-LE-001 and Special Exception #SPEX04-LE-018, subject to the Proffer Statement dated April 29, 2003, and the following Special Exception conditions:


  1. The Special Exception is granted for, and runs with, the land indicated in this application and is not transferable to other land.


  1. This Special Exception is granted only for the purpose(s), structure(s), and/or uses indicated on the Special Exception Plat approved with the application, as qualified by these development conditions.


  1. A Site Plan shall be required, pursuant to Article 12 of the Zoning Ordinance.


  1. An initial Site Plan shall be filed within one (1) year of the approval of this Special Exception.  No time limit shall be imposed on this Special Exception, provided that a Site Plan is filed within one year of approval.


  1. The development of the property shall be in general conformance with the Special Exception Plat entitled "Liberty Station (a.k.a. Crane's Corner) Special Exception, Rezoning and Concept Development Plan Amendment" dated April 16, 2004, and received in the Planning Office on April 22, 2004, except as modified by these conditions.


  1. The property association agreement shall be provided to the County for review and comment prior to Site Plan approval as it relates to stormwater management/BMP facilities, landscaping, parking agreements/arrangements, parking lot maintenance, private streets, open space, etc.


  1. The maximum number of apartment units shall be 40. 


  1. The maximum number of bedrooms per unit shall be two (2).


  1. Apartments shall be limited to the second floor and above.


  1. This Special Exception approval grants a 20% reduction of the number of parking spaces required pursuant to Zoning Ordinance Sections 5-103.2.e, 7-102.3 and 7-102.4 for the nonresidential components of the development and removes the requirement for visitor parking spaces for the residential portion of the development.  Parking space credit shall be given for those spaces provided along Willow Drive and Liberty Station Boulevard.


  1. The Shared Parking Agreement shall be provided to the County for review and approval prior to Site Plan approval.  This Agreement shall provide that all tenants shall share parking rights for a specified number of parking spaces; however, a limited number of parking spaces may be assigned to a particular user/tenant.


  1. Overnight parking of boats, trailers, or camper type vehicles shall not be permitted on the site.


  1. The minimum front yard shall be 14 feet measured from the property line, in accord with Zoning Ordinance Section 5-103.2.c.


  1. The uses allowed with this Special Exception shall be those uses identified in Article 3 of the Zoning Ordinance permitted in the C-1 zoning district, except the following or similar uses shall not be permitted in mixed residential use buildings:


    1. Medical Care Facility, Minor or Major;
    2. Golf, Miniature;
    3. Kennel/Animal Shelter;
    4. Veterinary Clinic;
    5. Furniture Repair, Cabinet Making, Upholstery, More Than 5,000 sq. ft.;
    6. Welding, Sheet Metal Shops, Less or More Than 5,000 sq. ft.; and
    7. Any Category 14 Use, except vehicle part sales, installation (not including repair garage).


  1. This Special Exception approval does not remove any Site Plan, Administrative Special Permit, Special Permit or Special Exception approval required for specific uses permitted in the C-1 zoning district, pursuant to Article 3 of the Zoning Ordinance.


  1. The Liberty Station Boulevard entrance to Route 17 shall meet the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) design requirements.


  1. The applicant shall work diligently with VDOT and Fauquier County to have Liberty Station Boulevard accepted into the State System of Highways, provided that building setbacks are acceptable to the applicant.  If approved by VDOT through its land use permit process, a landscaped median shall be provided in the Liberty Station Boulevard design.  In addition, landscaping shall be provided along both sides of the roadway within any unused right-of-way, as permitted by VDOT.  Said landscaping shall be consistent with VDOT’s requirements as promulgated in its “Guidelines For Planting Along Virginia’s Roadways”.  The property owners association shall be responsible for the continued upkeep and maintenance of said landscaping.  If Liberty Station Boulevard must remain as a development travelway for setback purposes, rather than a public or private street, the maintenance agreement for its perpetual maintenance shall be reviewed and approved by the County prior to Site Plan approval.  The Special Exception Plat may be amended to reflect Liberty Station Boulevard as a travelway rather than a street.


  1. The architectural appearance of the mixed-use residential buildings shall be as shown on the rendering received in the Planning Office August 6, 2003, entitled “Town Center Mixed Use Complex”.


Land Area, Location and Zoning:


The property is located on the east side of Marsh Road (Route 17) and the southeast side of Catlett Road (Route 28), in Lee Magisterial District.  The property is zoned Commercial Highway (C-2).  A map of the property is shown below.




Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:


The property is near the edge of the Bealeton Service District boundary.  It is bordered by properties that are Commercial-Shopping Center (C-3) to the north, Commercial - Neighborhood (C-1) to the south, and Planned Residential Development (PRD), Reynard’s Crossing, to the east.  The predominant zoning across the highway (to the west) is Residential (R-4).  Directly across from the applicant’s property is a parcel zoned Commercial-Neighborhood (C-1).


Staff Analysis:


Staff and the appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations. Staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below. The actual responses from referral agencies are available upon request.


Zoning and Land Use


The property is currently zoned Commercial Highway (C-2).  Consistent with this zoning category, this property is located along a primary highway in a district that contains general commercial establishments as the predominant use.  There are also planned residential developments in close proximity to the parcel as well as behind it.


If rezoned to C-1, the Category 1 Special Exception allows the proposed dwellings above a commercial space and permits the option for a reduction of the required number of parking spaces.  In addition, Zoning Ordinance Sections 7-102.3 and 7-102.4 allow the Board of Supervisors to permit shared parking arrangements and to reduce the required parking spaces up to 20% of the required number.


Engineering Considerations


The Engineering Division has reviewed the above referenced plan and has provided the following comments:


  1. Some of the soils shown may not be suitable for the conceptual SWM/BMP facilities shown.  Additional geotechnical information should be required prior to preliminary plan approval.


  1. Willow Drive North is not currently in the VDOT highway system.  Willow Drive North should be improved as necessary for acceptance into the VDOT road system.


  1. Provisions for providing adequate fire flow should be required.


  1. The sidewalks should be provided for the entire length of the property along Willow Drive North and Liberty Station Blvd.


Zoning Considerations:


The proposed conditions of development restrict the use of the mixed residential buildings by prohibiting the following uses:

    • Medical Care Facility, Minor or Major;
    • Golf, Miniature;
    • Kennel/Animal Shelter;
    • Veterinary Clinic;
    • Furniture Repair, Cabinet Making, Upholstery, More Than 5,000 sq. ft.;
    • Welding, Sheet Metal Shops, Less or More Than 5,000 sq. ft.; and
    • Any Category 14 Use except vehicle part sales, installation (not including repair garage).


A site plan will be required that must include a landscape plan to meet all requirements of Section 7-604.  The requirements for interior parking lot landscaping (Zoning Ordinance Section 7-604.3.g and h) and buffer yard requirements (Section 7-604.3.i) may result in required changes to the plan, including the potential loss of trees.


The applicant's parking analysis has been refined through the Planning Commission review to more clearly identify the mix of uses anticipated on the property.  Staff believes that shared parking will work on the property and that there will be differing uses with differing peak parking demands.  The Zoning Ordinance (Article 7) standards for residential uses in C-1 districts permit the Board of Supervisors the authority to reduce the required parking by 20%.  In addition, the parking sections of the Zoning Ordinance also makes provision for the Board to reduce parking requirements for neighborhood retail commercial uses that are located with an orientation toward pedestrian or bicycle traffic and if parking may be provided cooperatively between uses with the ability to share spaces based on hours of operation. 


Based on the uses in this proposed mixed-use development, the location in proximity to the Bealeton Town Center, the on-street parking that will be available along Willow Drive and Liberty Station Boulevard (whether a public street, private travelway or a combination thereof), and the various hours of operation, staff believes a 20% reduction of the required parking for the non-residential uses and a reduction in the required visitor parking for the residential units seems appropriate.  With the project as currently planned, these reductions would result in approximately 625 parking spaces within the development, excluding the street parking.


Virginia Department of Transportation


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has expressed concerns about the road network and parking in its written comments.  However, subsequent to those comments, staff has met with VDOT representatives who indicate that parking will be permitted along Willow Drive, and that Liberty Station Boulevard should be eligible for acceptance into the State System of Highways with some design modifications.  The applicant indicates that they will construct Liberty Station Boulevard to VDOT standards; however, the proposed non-residential building locations may not meet the required front yard setbacks if Liberty Station Boulevard is not considered part of the parking lot.  Staff, VDOT, and the applicant will continue to work diligently toward this street being a public road, but setback issues may limit this option. 


Department of Fire & Emergency Services


Department of Fire & Emergency Services indicates that the residential units over commercial uses will likely be required to have full sprinkler systems.  Multi-use applications can be difficult; usually the code requires the most stringent of applications.  It will be up to the Building Official’s Office to determine the final requirements.


Proffer Analysis


The proffer statement requests a maximum square footage of 110,000 square feet for Commercial/Office/Retail, a limit of 40 apartments (2nd floor and above), and commits to not less than 2.5 acres of open space.  The proffer also provides $4,715 to be paid at building permit issuance for each apartment unit that is constructed in the commercially zoned property.  The monies will go to schools, parks and recreation, libraries, fire and rescue, and landfill.  In addition, for a period up to 20 years, 1,000 square feet of end space has been proffered for the sheriff’s office at no cost for the lease along with five parking spaces.  This space will be a warm, white shell with a handicapped accessible bathroom installed with electric, water, and sewer at no cost to the County.


Summary and Recommendations:


Staff is in support of the rezoning request and companion Special Exception, subject to the revised proffer statement dated April 29, 2004 and the Special Exception conditions recommended by the Planning Commission.





  1. Special Exception Plat
  2. Applicant’s Letter of Justification
  3. Proposed Proffer Statement (4/27/04)
  4. Applicant's Parking Study
  5. Town Center Concept