Typically Agricultural and
Forestal Districts in Fauquier County are approved for a
term of eight years. The Department of Community Development
is in the process of realigning the terms for Agricultural
and Forestal Districts so that the renewal process can occur
once a year, at the same time each year; therefore, proposed
terms for the renewals may be slightly more or less than
During the renewal process,
any landowner with property in the District may
automatically withdraw their land by submitting a written
request during the renewal process, with the withdrawal
becoming effective upon the expiration date of the current
term of the district. In addition, any landowner with
qualifying lands may apply to add their property to a
District being renewed throughout the renewal process.
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:
property is under an open space easement; and/or
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.
Because of the Board Policy,
any parcel less than 25 acres will automatically be removed
from the districts being renewed unless the landowner
specifically requests in writing that the parcel remain in
the district and demonstrates compliance with the Board of
Supervisor Policy for parcels less than 25 acres.
Letters have been sent by
the County to all owners of property in the districts
notifying them of the renewal process and their options
relative to the renewal.
Requests for Withdrawals,
Exceptions to the 25 Acre Rule and Additions
Of the 13 total parcels, 10
parcels are 25 acres or greater. As of May 22, 2006, no
parcels have been withdrawn at the request of the owners.
Of the 13 total parcels, 3
are less than 25 acres. As of May 22, 2006, the owners of
one of these parcels has requested to remain in the
1. Larry & Lorene Payne,
PIN #6971-01-9886, 15.35 acres. According to the owner, the
smaller parcel is used in conjunction with a larger working
farm (cattle and hay) parcel, PIN #6971-21-0253, which
contains 60.22 acres and which is in the District.
Therefore it appears to meet the Board of Supervisors’
policy. Staff recommends its inclusion in the District and
the Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee
and Planning Commission concurred (see Attachment 3)..
See Attachment 1 for a list
of all parcels currently in the District. Attachment 1
provides information on those parcels that are recommended
to remain in the District and those recommended to be
removed from the District based on policy and information
provided by parcel owners.
Recently approved districts
have been subject to the following conditions:
That pursuant to Title 15.2, Chapter 43, Section
15.2-4312 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, the
Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance shall apply except as
modified below. These modifications are necessary to assure
that the Ordinance does not conflict with the purpose for
which the District was established.
All uses allowed by right in the applicable zoning
district(s) for each parcel listed shall require a special
exception permit except for agricultural or forestal
production and construction of dwellings for persons who
earn a substantial part of their livelihood from a farm
operation on the property or for members of their immediate
Subdivision of land as defined in Article 2-39 of the
Fauquier County Subdivision Ordinance is not permitted.
No special exception permit shall be in conflict with
the purposes for which the District was created.
That these parcels shall qualify for land use value
assessment provided that the parcels meet the criteria of
Article 4 of Section 58.1-3229 et seq. of Chapter 32 of
Title 58.1 of the Code of Virginia.
That the owners of land within the District shall not
terminate the District except as provided for in Section
15.2-4314 of the Code of Virginia.
That lawful termination of any owner’s association in
the District shall not serve to terminate the existence of
the District, but the District shall continue in effect
until the review required by Section 15.2-4311 of the Code
If any portion of a parcel less than 25 acres is
sold, boundary line adjusted or divided then the entire
parcel shall automatically be removed from the District.
If any portion of a parcel greater than 25 acres is
sold, boundary line adjusted or divided to below 25 acres
then the portion less than 25 acres shall automatically be
removed from the District.
Due to staff error in
mailing out letters of notification to property owners, the
Board of Supervisors cannot act on this renewal. Staff
recommends opening the public hearing, keeping it open and
postponing action until July 13, 2006.