FAX (540)341-3444

DATE:            April 19, 2002 

TO:                 Members, Planning Commission 

FROM:            Brian K. Davis, Senior Planner 

RE:                 Suffield Meadows Continuing Care Facility

                        SE # 02-S-13; SE #02-S-14 and CPA #02-S-04



The applicant is requesting special exception approvals to allow for the establishment of a continuing care facility and to construct a private sewage treatment facility.  There is also an associated Comprehensive Plan Amendment to extend public water beyond the New Baltimore Service District boundary.  The proposal calls for the construction of 50 cottage units, 32 condominium units in two buildings, 30 duplex units in 15 structures and a 40 bed assisted living facility on 120 acres at the intersection of Route 29 and Route 673 north of Warrenton and adjacent to the Snow Hill residential community. 

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on this case on February 28, 2002, and voted to defer decision for at least 30 days to allow the applicant time to address certain issues raised in the February 28, 2002 staff report and comments received at the public hearing.  A site visit to the property and two separate work sessions have been conducted since the Planning Commission's public hearing in March. 


The applicant submitted the following revisions on April 10, 2002, in advance of the April 11, 2002 Planning Commission work session: 

Revision Item



Special Exception Plat

Relocated site for proposed assisted living facility, further away from the intersection of Routes 29 and 673 (Fosters Fork Road) and more internal to the remainder of the community. The scale of this building has also been reduced to one-story on one side.

The new proposed location should minimize visual impacts of the institutional type building in a rural area, when combined with the reduction in mass of the building design.  The new site is also an improvement in staff's evaluation because it is more integrated with the remainder of the proposed community.

Special Exception Plat

Relocated site for the proposed sewage treatment facility to an area that is further removed from existing residential areas. 

The new site is in closer proximity to Route 29 and topographically situated so that the treated effluent would be pumped uphill to the primary drainfield areas.  If any conveyance malfunction were to occur, the impact to off-site residential areas in this location would be lessened.  The County Soil Scientist has concurred that this revised location is preferable over what was originally proposed by the applicant.

More Detailed Trip Generation Information

A trip generation study was conducted using three existing and similar communities in Virginia, combined with a much larger facility in Baltimore of which the applicant's consultant had personal knowledge. 

Staff had originally expressed concern over the use of the ITE charts in this particular case because there were only one or two examples from the 1990s used as a basis.  The revised trip generation information presented by the applicant confirms staff's belief that the ITE numbers in this case were lower than what could be expected.  The applicant’s revised materials project a rate of 645 vehicle trips per day, as opposed to the 500 vehicle trips per day originally projected. 

It should be noted that the County’s transportation consultant, Kellerco, has reviewed the applicant’s revised trip generation and has suggested an alternative calculation that results in a trip generation estimate of 839 vehicle trips per day.  This estimation was derived by removing two of the facilities surveyed by the applicant because their size is much larger and it was Kellerco’s opinion that this fact could possibly skew the trip generation estimates.  (Kellerco letter at Attachment 2). 

Applicant’s Suggested Revisions to Staff Draft Development Conditions

The Planning Commission reviewed and discussed the applicant’s suggested changes at the April 11th work session.  Staff’s suggested revisions are included as Attachment 1.

The revisions put forward by staff at this time address many of the discussion points between the applicant and the Planning Commission and provide some clarification from the original staff draft.  Outstanding issues are noted in the text of the conditions.


Staff is of the opinion that there has been much progress toward the resolution of issues and concerns associated with this proposal by the applicant.  Should the Planning Commission choose to recommend approval at this time, staff recommends that such action be subject to the staff proposed conditions in Attachment 1. 


1.      Draft Conditions

2.      Kellerco Memorandum 

cc:            Applicant