PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Fauquier County Planning Commission

May 20, 2002

Staff Lead:

Department: 

Frederick P.D. Carr, Director

Community Development

Topic:  ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT TO SECTION 3-401 (MAXIMUM DENSITY) TO CHANGE THE MAXIMUM PERMITTED DENSITY IN THE RESIDENTIAL-1 (R-1) ZONING DISTRICT FROM 0.9 DWELLING UNIT PER ACRE TO 1.0 DWELLING UNIT PER ACRE

The Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance currently states the maximum density (defined as dwelling units per acre) for the Residential-1 (R-1) zoning district to be 0.9.  This amendment would alter the maximum density for the R-1 district to 1.0 dwelling unit per acre.  This amendment would affect only parcels containing 2.0 or more acres. 

Based on staff recommendations, the Planning Commission scheduled the referenced amendment for public hearing.  The public hearing was held on March 28, 2002, and the Planning Commission voted at its April 25, 2002 meeting to forward the text amendment to the Board with a recommendation for denial.  The Planning Commission voted 4-1 to recommend denial because of the concerns over increased density that might result from this amendment. 

The large majority of the R-1 land lies within the nine existing service district boundaries.  Fauquier County currently has 18,600 acres designated as R-1, with all but approximately 3,700 acres lying within current service district boundaries.  Most of the R-1 land lying outside of the service district boundaries is scattered throughout the County in pockets of 20 to 300 acres.  Many of those areas already have been developed or subdivided to maximum or near maximum capacities. 

The primary exception is the Morrisville area (approximately 840 acres), but soil conditions in that portion of the County usually prevent development to well below maximum density levels.  The Fauquier County Health Department requires a two hundred percent (200%) reserve drainfield area for parcels outside of the service district boundaries.  Even if suitable percolation sites for drainfields are found, soil conditions would require lots to be in excess of one acre in size to accommodate a house site, driveway, private well, drainfield and reserve drainfield areas.  Several of the other small areas of R-1 land outside of the service district boundaries also have soil and topography issues similar to those encountered in the Morrisville vicinity, which limit development below maximum density even at the current level of 0.9 dwelling unit per acre.  Without the availability of a central sewage treatment facility, most of the R-1 land outside of the service district boundaries cannot be fully developed. 

 

Excluding incorporated towns, Fauquier County’s zoned area totals approximately 416,600 acres, with the R-1 zoning district acreage accounting for 4.4 percent of the unincorporated land.  The R-1 acreage lying outside the service district boundaries accounts for just under 0.9 percent of the county’s total land.  This amendment would simplify the maximum density calculation in the Residential-1 zoning districts.  The majority of that increase would be channeled into the County’s service districts and could help alleviate the increasing pressure for development of Fauquier County’s rural areas.  The amendment results in a 0.1 increase in the density calculation for R-1 properties from 0.9 dwelling unit per acre to 1.0 dwelling unit per acre.  Note that all other districts are also rounded to whole numbers, for example, R-2 (2 units/ acre), R-3 (3 units/acre) and R-4 (4 units/acre). 

Acreage of Fauquier County’s Rural and Residential Zoning Districts* 

Zoning District                                        Acreage                               % of Total Land Mass

Rural Agriculture                                       330,307.25                            79.3  

Rural Conservation                                     56,253.63                            13.5

Rural Residential-2                                       3,572.72                              0.9

Village                                                           3,917.46                              0.9

Residential-1                                               18,599.98                              4.4

Residential-2                                                 2053.88                               0.5

Residential-4                                                   890.87                               0.2

Townhouse                                                       71.39                               0.0001

Garden Apartment                                            24.76                               0.00005

Manufactured Dwelling Park                           113.26                              0.0003

Planned Residential Development                  686.74                               0.002

 

*Does not include acreage and zoning for the incorporated Towns of Remington, The Plains and Warrenton. 

The staff report with additional background information is provided as Attachment 1.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Hold a public hearing and take appropriate action.  An ordinance of approval is included as Attachment 2. 

 

Financial Impacts Analysis:

No financial analysis was conducted.

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

Department of Community Development 

Attachment 1  Staff Report

Attachment 2  Ordinance for approval