Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 


John and Hillary Davidson, Owners


June 8, 2006

Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator

Community Development

Magisterial District:



6966-74-9935-000 and



An Ordinance to Approve or a Resolution to Deny the 15th Addition to Marshall/Warrenton Agricultural and Forestal District


Topic Description:

The applicants are requesting two parcels totaling 15.33 acres be added to the Marshall/Warrenton Agricultural and Forestal District. 


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Conduct the public hearing.  The public hearing should remain open with no action taken until the next hearing date of July 13, 2006.


Financial Impacts Analysis:


Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee and Planning Commission Recommendation:

The Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee and Planning Commission have both met to review this proposed addition.  These bodies are charged with advising the Board of Supervisors regarding the renewal of and additions to agricultural and forestal districts.  The Committee and Planning Commission unanimously recommended denial, as the parcels are less than 25 acres and do not meet the Board of Supervisors’ policy.  The Committee and Planning Commission suggested that a boundary line adjustment adding the two parcels to a third under common ownership be done, in which case the parcels would meet the policy and could be added.


Staff Analysis:


Each year, landowners may file by February 1st to create a new Agricultural and Forestal District or to add parcels to any existing Agricultural and Forestal District and the Board considers these applications for new districts and additions. 

The Marshall/Warrenton Agricultural and Forestal District currently contains 160 parcels totaling 12,215.09 acres and will run until June 30, 2012.

Criteria for Evaluating Applications

The Code of Virginia also establishes standards to be considered in determining whether or not to include land in an agricultural and forestal district.  These broad standards include:

  • The agricultural and forestal significance of the land and adjacent land;
  • The presence of any significant agricultural or forestal lands within the district or adjacent areas that are not now in active agricultural or forestal production;
  • The nature and extent of land uses other than active farming or forestry within the district and in adjacent areas;
  • Local development patterns and needs;
  • The comprehensive plan and, if applicable, the zoning regulations;
  • The environmental benefits of retaining the lands in agricultural and forestal uses; and
  • Any other relevant matters.

The Code further states that “in judging the agricultural and forestal significance of land . . . soil, climate, topography, other natural factors, markets for agricultural and forestal products, the extent and nature of farm structures, the present status of agriculture and forestry, anticipated trends in agricultural economic conditions and such other factors as may be relevant” may be considered.

In addition, in 1990, the Board of Supervisors adopted a policy that states that no parcel less than 25 acres in size will be permitted within an agricultural and forestal district unless:

·       The subject property is under an open space easement; and/or

·       The subject property is part of a working farm and under the same ownership, or family ownership, of other lands which are currently a working farm and are in or being added to an agricultural and forestal district.

In conjunction with this policy, “Working Farm” has been defined to mean any operation actively devoted to the bona fide production of crops, or animals, or fowl, including but not limited to the production of fruits and vegetables of all kinds; meat, dairy, and poultry products; nuts, tobacco, nursery and floral product; and the production and harvest of products from silvicultural activity.


The applicant has requested that two parcels totaling 15.33 acres (PIN #6966-74-9935-000 containing 5.33 acres and PIN #6966-84-1552-000 containing 10.00 acres).  The properties are located off Summerfield Hills Drive in Warrenton and are zoned RA.  The applicants show on the application that this is not a working farm but considers the parcels to be in forestal use. 

Overview of Property

While below the minimum lot size for inclusion in the District, these two properties are adjacent to a third 25.819-acre parcel owned by the Davidsons (PIN# 6966-85-6353-000) which is within the District.  All three properties were part of the original District when it was created in 1981.  The two subject parcels were removed from the District last year when it was renewed.  Although the owners applied during last year’s renewal process to allow both of the smaller parcels to remain in the District, that request was not brought before the Board for consideration at that time because of a staff error. 

The two properties are entirely wooded, with no structures.  The larger adjoining parcel already in the district, part of the R.G. Fox Division, is partially wooded and occupied by a home with stable and other accessory structures.  The Commissioner of Revenue shows that the parcels have been in land use since at least the year 2002.

The Fauquier County Soil Survey shows the two parcels to have the following soil types:


Soil Type

Soil Name



Agricultural Uses


Myersville silt loam

Deep, well drained strong brown silty soils on rolling summits and strongly sloping backslopes; high potential for erosion;  fair to marginal development potential

Secondary Cropland


Myersville silt loam; stony

Deep, well drained strong brown silty soils on moderately steep backslopes; high potential for erosion; poor development potential

Prime Pasture


Pignut, Alanthus complex; extremely stony

Moderately deep, well drained, strong brown (Pignut) and very deep, well drained yellowish-red (Alanthus) silty soils on moderately steep backslopes; high potential for erosion; poor development potential

Not suited for Agriculture


Rohrersville loam; stony

Very deep, somewhat poorly drained, yellowish brown loam soils with intermittent high water tables in drainage ways; slight erosion potential; poor development potential or not suited.

Secondary Pasture


Staff Recommendation

Due to applicant not posting the property, the Board of Supervisors cannot act on this addition.  Staff recommends opening the public hearing, keeping it open and postponing action until July 13, 2006.


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

Commissioner of the Revenue

Agricultural Development Office


1.                  Copy of Application

2.                  Fauquier County GIS Map of District

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