FAX (540)341-3444


TO:                 Fauquier County Planning Commission

FROM:           Elizabeth Cook, Chief of Planning

DATE:                        March 21, 2002

SUBJECT:      Proposed Amendments to the Fauquier County Subdivision Ordinance Section 9-6 - Planning Commission Decision and Section 9-7 - Referral to Board


The Subdivision Ordinance currently provides that, once the Planning Commission acts on a preliminary plat, it is forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.  Preliminary plats denied by the Planning Commission are not returned to the Commission for additional review.  Once the Board acts on a preliminary plat, an applicant may proceed with a final plat even if the preliminary plat has been denied.  With this process the Planning Commission also does not have an opportunity to review any revised plat once it is forwarded to the Board.  The final plat needs to address adequately the reasons stated for the preliminary plat denial for staff to consider final approval.  Final plats are approved administratively and not reviewed by the Commission or Board.


The Commission has expressed an interest in further review of denied plats to ensure that the outstanding items have been addressed.  Staff has proposed a Subdivision Ordinance text amendment that would require the submission of a corrected preliminary plat for the Planning Commission, which addresses the deficiencies noted in the Commission's denial motion.  As proposed, the additional review would only address the deficiencies and any changes promulgated by correction of the deficiencies.  Once the Planning Commission approves the preliminary plat, it would be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for its review.  As proposed, the item would be scheduled for the Board's consent agenda as in the current ordinance. 


If the Planning Commission would like the Subdivision Ordinance to be amended, staff recommends that the Commission forward the following text amendment to the Board of Supervisors:

9-6       Planning Commission Decision

A decision on the preliminary plat shall be rendered by the Commission within sixty (60) days after the official filing unless an extension is agreed to by the applicant.  If the approval of any State agency, including but not limited to the Virginia Department of Transportation, is required for a feature or features of the preliminary plat, the Commission shall have an additional 45 days from the receipt of all such approvals to act on the plat.  When rendering an adverse decision on a preliminary plat, the Commission shall include the specific paragraph(s) of this Ordinance and/or other applicable ordinances with which the subdivider has not complied. After an adverse decision on a preliminary plat by the Planning Commission, a corrected preliminary plat application shall be filed in the Office of Community Development, which addresses the deficiencies noted in the denial.  The application and filing process shall be as specified in Sections 9-3 and 9-4 of this Ordinance.  The Planning Commission's review of this amended preliminary plat shall only address those items noted as deficiencies in the denial and any changes to the plat that result from addressing the specified deficiencies.  Nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed to prevent an applicant who has received an adverse decision on the preliminary plat from proceeding with preparation and submission of the final plat.

9-7              Referral to Board

All preliminary plats approved acted on by the Planning Commission shall be referred to the Board of Supervisors at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The Board of Supervisors, by a majority vote, may consider a preliminary plat at the second regularly scheduled meeting.  If the Board takes no action on preliminary plat referral, the preliminary plat shall be deemed approved or denied in accordance with the actions of the Planning Commission.

The Board shall act on the preliminary plat referral not later than its second regularly scheduled meeting unless an extension is agreed to by the applicant.  The Board may approve, approve with modification, or deny the preliminary plat.  Any action by the Board of Supervisors shall be deemed final. 

cc:        Kevin Burke, Deputy County Attorney

Frederick P.D. Carr, Director