Staff and the appropriate referral agencies have reviewed
this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan,
the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and
regulations. Staff and referral agency findings, comments,
and recommendations are summarized below. The actual
responses from referral agencies are available upon request.
County Telecommunications Consultant (ATC)
Construction of this site is proposed
to meet the coverage needs of one/Verizon Wireless/FCC
licensed telecommunications provider authorized to provide
coverage to the Fauquier County area. Verizon Wireless
proposes the addition of an 80-foot monopole style
transmission tower to support service delivery in an area
along State Route 55 from Mount Jackson toward The Plains,
Virginia. This report outlines the specific areas of
evaluation with respect to this proposal, and ATC’s several
recommendations regarding the site plans as presented.
Supporting and clarifying evidence regarding the suitability
of the proposed design in meeting the specified coverage
goals is also included.
It is the opinion of the consultant
that this application should be approved as an 80-foot
structure with a stealth design, to cover the Route 55 and
Interstate 66 area in accordance with the Fauquier County
Telecommunications Ordinance, 11-100.
The property that the proposed
Telecommunications Facility is to be located is a parcel of
property owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Virginia
Department of Transportation. This property was acquired by
VDOT during the engineering phase of the construction of
Interstate 66. The base parcel of land is approximately 4.5
acres of wooded land.
The property is a wooded area with pine
and evergreen trees and hardwood species of trees that are
from 20 to 50 feet in height. The view of the parcel from
the surrounding properties is viewed as a wooded lot.
The property and the Telecommunications
Site would serve the I-66 corridor and would be visible from
the I-66 corridor.
The design of the recommended monopole
should be designed to support the proposed appurtenances and
yet minimize visual impact. The antennas will be surface
mounted to the pole. This shall be accomplished without a
mounting arm to offset or standoff from the pole structure.
This structure should conform to all
applicable building requirements of the Virginia Uniform
Building Code and any federal code not specified in the
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), delineated in Title
47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1, Subpart I,
sections 1.1301-1.1319, requires federal agencies to
incorporate environmental considerations into their
decision-making process when evaluating new construction
proposals. As a licensing agency, the Federal Communication
Commission (FCC) requires all licensees to consider the
potential environmental effects from their construction of
antenna support structures, and to disclose those effects in
an Environmental Assessment (EA) that must be filed with the
FCC for review.
results of a properly formatted NEPA study have not been
included in this applicant’s request package. This is
currently a County requirement, however, prior to the
applicant’s placing this site in operation as a
Communications Site, this report must be completed as
required by the FCC. This report can be requested and
reviewed and held as a Public Document.
It may be
expected that simple visual impact from this site would be
of far greater concern and represents a more likely source
of questions. Barring unexpected directives from the FAA,
the site will not be painted with bright aviation marking
colors. Due to the proposed site location, no landscaping
plan has been submitted, as is typically required by County
Zoning Ordinance. It is the recommendation of this
consultant that the applicant consider a Stealth Technology
such as a silo to house the antennas, building, and support
of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA)
requires that State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO) and
the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation be
given a reasonable opportunity to comment on all
undertakings with the potential to affect historic
properties. Prior to construction, the licensee is required
to submit to the SHPO a detailed description of the project,
a listing of local historic resources, and a discussion of
any measures being undertaken to mitigate impacts (if any)
on historic resources. Upon receipt, the SHPO has thirty
(30) days to review and respond to those submissions. All
agencies with authority to permit construction are required
to consider the SHPO response in its decision making process
with respect to new construction applications.
results of a properly formatted historical impact study have
not been included in this applicant’s request package.
local Civil War engagements and encampments are known to
have occurred in the general vicinity.
application represents intent on the part of the applicant
to conform to the County ordinances and guidelines. ATC
Approve the application at 80 foot AGL.
Encourage the applicant to seek a “Stealth Solution” for
Provide County with NEPA Report when completed.
Provide County with SHIPO Report when completed.
VDOT commit to lighting determination
Office has the following comments:
This plan meets the standards contained in Section
11-102 (2) of the Zoning Ordinance for a by-right
telecommunications facility as outlined in Article 11 of the
Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance except for the 100-foot
setback requirement from a public highway, as the tower is
located within excess right-of-way owned by VDOT. The
deficient setback has triggered the requirement for a
A Site Plan consistent with Article 12 of the
Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance is required prior to
obtaining building permits.
The Zoning Office has also provided additional comments
related to possible stealth designs currently in use or
under construction in the county. Following is a
description of these design alternatives and their
Silo – Constructed as a farm structure with
all/most associated equipment located within the structure.
The antennas are located within the top portion of the silo
or painted to match the exterior. All electrical equipment
located outside the silo is located in a "lean to" or shed
like structure to be consistent with existing surrounding
structures. These towers are located on farms with existing
silos or barns. The placement of the silo is close in
proximity to all existing structures to be aesthetically
pleasing. Almara Farm, 5263 Catlett Road, Cedar Run
Flag Pole – Constructed on commercial or
government sites as a flagpole. All antennas are located
within the pole structure with no exposed wires or piping.
All associated equipment located on the ground is located
away from the flagpole and completely screened from view.
Upperville Fire Department, Marshall District.
Mono Pine – Constructed in a well-vegetated
area with antennas located within fake branch-like
structures. All associated equipment is located on the
ground, and completely screened from view. Mast site, 2592
Carriage Ford Road, Cedar Run District.
Camouflaged – Constructed in virtually any location with a
digital camouflaged pattern created with vinyl cover or
painted to blend with the existing landscape. Equipment on
the ground is completely screened from view. Poulin Tower
site, 11033 John Marshall Highway, Marshall District (under
reviewing the above stated Special Exception application,
the following comments are made:
State the source of the soils map and interpretive
guide information. “Preliminary soils information via
Fauquier County Soil Survey (original scale 1” = 1320’).
Map unit 47C has a high erosion hazard and a low to
moderate bearing capacity due to high mica content.
GIS provides the following comments:
The GIS Department will assign an address to this
property for a 12x30x10 equipment shelter, which will be
constructed on this site.
The GIS Department requests a copy of the building
permit for this project, which will be used for reference in
assigning the address. The permit and site plan will be
retained on file in the GIS Department.
Page 9 item “j” of the “Proposed Commercial Wireless
Facilities Plan Amendment to Chapter 9 - Public Facilities
and Utilities of the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan”
adopted August 21, 2000 states:
“No tower shall be located within
1,000 feet of Virginia Scenic Byways unless an acceptable
stealth tower design is utilized.”
The proposed tower is located
approximately 184 feet from John Marshall Highway (Route 55)
which is designated as a Virginia Scenic Byway by Virginia
Department of Transportation. This is also shown on Map
9.17 of the above referenced Comprehensive Plan document.
The proposed plan shows the tower to be a monopole and does
not include a stealth tower design.
The GIS Department requests notification from the
Planning Office when this telecommunication tower has been
constructed and is operational. Once notified, the GIS
Department will incorporate data into the digital GIS map
layer and spreadsheet that the department maintains. The
GIS Department will also notify the Department of Fire and
Emergency Services when the tower is constructed.
Summary and Recommendations:
recommends that the Board of Supervisors consider the
Planning Commission’s recommendation of denial for this
consultant, ATC’s summary is that the monopole can
potentially be approved, if it is a stealth structure.
However, staff does not agree with that recommendation due
to the aesthetics (visual impacts) terrain, historic and
natural resource sensitivities within the I-66 gateway
location into Fauquier County.