Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Seeley Brookfield, LLC (Owner)

Shenandoah Development, LLC (Applicant)


June 9, 2005

Staff Lead:


Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning



Community Development


Magisterial District: Cedar Run


Service District: Opal




6981-27-6354-000 and 6981-44-4079-000



Green Springs REZN05-CR-004:  A Request to Rezone 31.4 Acres of Land from R-1 to R-2 and to Rezone ±165 Acres from R-1 Conditional to R-1 for a Clustered 68-Lot Subdivision with Two Conventional Lots


Topic Description:


The applicant wishes to rezone approximately 165.0 acres from Residential (R-1) conditional to Residential (R-2) with proffers to allow for: 1) a clustered residential subdivision with an affordable housing component for up to sixty (60) residential units on PIN 6981-44-4079-000 (31.4 acres); and 2) an R-1 cluster and conventional with proffers for eight (8) clustered units on PIN 6981-27-6354-000 (132.4 acres with two additional conventional lots).


Based on recent discussions with the applicant, staff anticipates receipt of revised proffers that will further clarify the proposal.  The two conventional lots include the non-common open space parcel of approximately 90 acres.  The proposal includes fifteen (15) units proffered as affordable housing units. 


Project Update:


On May 26, 2005, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to forward this item to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation of denial.  However, the Planning Commission noted that affordable housing units are needed in the County and that the project was not denied on that basis.  The Commission had requested applicant consideration of postponement for an additional 30 days to work through final issues pertaining to the layout of the lots at the site, wetland soils, ingress and egress, detail regarding the affordable dwelling units, and compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.  The applicant did not agree to any postponement.


Since the Planning Commission meeting, staff has met with the applicant to work out these project refinements.  The applicant is working diligently to address referral agency comments and has submitted new draft proffers dated June 2, 2005.  Staff and the referral agencies have not had the opportunity to thoroughly analyze the revised proffers and Concept Development Plan (CDP).  However, with the proffered maximum density of 1.90 dwelling units per acre for the R-2 parcel, the applicant does not need to utilize the Affordable Housing density bonus provided in the Zoning Ordinance.  However, the applicant needs to provide more explanation and assurance regarding the availability of the affordable units onsite and the “soft second mortgage” process and management.


Staff Report:


On May 1, 1990, the Board of Supervisors rezoned the subject property to the R-1 conditional district permitting up to 38 lots with a golf course community.  Subsequent to that action, seven (7) residential lots were developed on the property; however, due to a variety of engineering, land use and environmental constraints, the golf course community has not materialized as a viable option for the property.


The applicant states its proposal is to amend the existing R-1 Conditional zoning with a low-density residential proposal consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan for Opal.  The larger parcel, 6981-27-6354-000, currently forms the northern boundary of the Opal Service District.  The applicant seeks to maintain the private open space as a “green space” buffer (hard edge) and transition area between Opal’s growth area and adjoining rural areas.  If the proposed rezoning is approved, the balance of the open space area would be between 90 and 115 acres.  It would be recorded as a non-common open space parcel, which could be used for residential building lot.  In addition, the applicant indicates that with the revised CDP, one (1) 2 to 6-acre lot is proposed to be located along Avenal Drive and eight (8) clustered lots would be located adjacent to the proposed R-2 lots.


The applicant seeks to rezone the other parcel, 6981-44-4079-000, from R-1 Conditional to R-2 with proffers for a clustered development of 60 single family dwelling units.  The proposal includes 15 proffered affordable dwelling units.  Although this parcel does not meet the Affordable Housing Overlay District requirements associated with low to moderate income households, the applicant’s intent is to be consistent with the County’s affordable housing objective.  The 15 proffered affordable units represent approximately 23 percent of the total units requested.  The draft proffers indicate that, for this project’s purposes, buyer’s whose household incomes are at or below 80% of the median income of the County at the time of the home purchase would qualify for their program.


The applicant has also proposed a series of monetary contributions, proffers for the following: schools, parks and recreation, libraries, fire and rescue, sheriff, and environmental services.  As proposed, these proffered contributions would not be collected for the affordable units.  In addition, the applicant has proffered $25,000 towards the Transportation improvements in Opal.


The applicant proposes the 68-unit subdivision to have primary access through the adjacent Green Meadows subdivision.  Secondary access still needs resolution.  There are two options that need more focus.  One may be feasible via an existing 50 foot ingress/egress across an adjacent parcel located northwest of the proposed development.  That access point leads to U.S. 15/29.  Another adjacent property may provide future access to the planned service drive associated with the recently approved Ryder Rezoning (REZN04-CR-007, 6/21/04).


During the review process the applicant has made a series of project refinements that appear to be illustrated with the June 2, 2005 proffer statement and the anticipated revised CDP, however staff and the referral agencies have not completed a thorough review of the changes.  The outstanding issues, which may no be addressed by the project revisions, include:


1.      Site access

2.      Wetland Delineation

3.      Soil concerns related to construction of basements

4.      The number of lots along Avenal Drive

5.      Transportation impacts

6.      Mechanics of how the affordable housing program units will be operated



Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Conduct a public hearing and consider postponement of this item for 30-days.


Planning Commission Recommendation:


On May 16, 2005, the Planning Commission recommended denial of this item.  However, the Commission has scheduled a work session on the application for June 7, 2005, to discuss conditions it believes should be part of the Green Springs development, if approved by the Board of Supervisors.  Staff will update the Board of Supervisors of any action from this meeting.


Financial Impact Analysis:




Land Area, Location and Zoning:    


The property is located on the east side of Routes 29/15/17.  It is zoned Residential (R-1) with conditions.  PIN 6981-44-4079, outlined in green, is proposed for 72 units.  PIN 6981-27-6354, is outlined in orange with the proposed 6 units delineated in blue.  A map of the property is shown below.                          



Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:


The property is bounded by Rural Agricultural (RA) to the north and east and RA and Residential (R-1) to the south and west.


Staff Analysis:

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. New staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below. The actual responses from referral agencies are available upon request.


Zoning Comments:


Zoning Staff provided the following comments on April 15, 2005:


1.                     This property was rezoned from RA to R1 in 1990 subject to the following proffer limitation:  If Preliminary Plans for the Golf Course Community are not approved by the Fauquier County Approving Agency by the end of calendar year 1992, the remainder is to be deed restricted as non-common open space. The proffers also state “if at any time in the future the portion of the property which is developed as a golf course ceases to be a golf course said property shall revert to non-common open space and shall be deeded in perpetuity as non-common open space in accordance with the non-common open space zoning regulations.”  The applicant now proposes, with this amendment, to develop portions of the non-common open space required under the prior proffers.  The response for this application states that this amendment would improve upon the existing conditions. Please identify how this application would better meet the needs of the county by changing conditions that were set by the board for improving the site conditions. 


2.                     Lots allowed/proposed: The number of lots proposed originally increased with the 1989 rezoning, and has increased again between the 1st submission of this rezoning and the 2nd submission:


                                                         1st sub.                   2nd sub.

                  1990 Rezoning         Current Prop.       Current Prop.

# Lots                                              38                       50                          85


The response indicates that this application is proposing an increase in lots for low and moderate income family housing.  Please identify each lot with specifications meeting the guidelines as set in Appendix B, as follows


A.                 The developer must provide assurance to the County that the units to be provided for the housing of low and moderate in come families will continue to be available for the purpose for at least five (5) years.  This assurance shall take the form of a proffer tender in accordance with the section 15.2298, Code of Virginia or other mechanism approved by the Board.


B.                  The dwelling units to be provided for housing low and moderate income families shall include a range of housing types suitable to the needs of the community in which located (i.e., shall include an appropriate mix 0f 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom units.)


C.                 The number and portion of subsidized dwellings in a proposed development shall not result in an undue concentration of families with limited means in the community or in the proposed development.


D.                 Developments qualifying for the incentives in this Appendix shall be located in areas where the provision of public services is most feasible.  Such areas include service districts and adjacent R-1 zoning districts where utilities are currently available to support the density of a proposed development. 


3.                     The applicant shows access to the R-2 portion of site being provided through adjoining properties.  Prior to any subdivision the applicant would have to secure any required easements to develop that access.  Language has been added to the proffer statement (pg. 3, second #1) indicating that applicant shall provide access through an interparcel connection with an adjoining residential property.  Please note that if permission for such access has not been and cannot be secured through the adjoining property as proffered, the project will not be able to be built without a proffer amendment.  Note further that this proffer in no way ties the adjoining property owner to any requirement to provide such access.


This item is understood but again, if access is not secured with easements, the proffer cannot tie any adjoining property owner to this requirement and further restricts the applicant from access in another area without going through the process again for an amendment.  The proffer should state: “we will be responsible for gaining access from adjoining property owners for access.”  


4.                     The applicants proffer identified certain active recreation uses that are not consistent with the zoning ordinance provisions for active recreation.  Trails do not qualify as active recreation uses under the zoning ordinance and should not be characterized as such in the proffer language.  Ordinance provisions cannot be changed through proffer language.


Such active recreation area has been shown on the plan.  Please define what will be located in this area to meet the active recreation provisions and further meet the requirements of the ordinance.  Proffer conditions do not change Zoning Ordinance requirements.


5.                     The proposed proffers assume that affordable units are not subject to the proffer policy therefore no contributions are proposed for the affordable units.  The proffer policy does not address whether affordable units are intended to be exempt; therefore the Commission and Board should address this issue.


This has not been changed to reflect proffer contributions for such lots.  Proffers are designed to offset the increase to the community by the development impacts.  Low and moderate income housing will impact the area as any other lot would and are not exempt from proffer provisions. 


6.                     The rezoning increases the density on the property by 47 units. Typically proffers would begin with the 39th lot (including the existing lots).  The proffers do indicate payments would start after the 32nd new lot (which is the 39th lot total).  The proffers propose no payment for affordable units. 


The response states that this is consistent with the Proffer Policy.  Please identify how this is consistent with the total lots, total contributions for lots and the breakdown how this meets the guidelines set by the board to absorb the impacts of such development.


Additional Comments:


Please note that it is not possible to do a full evaluation of the conceptual plan’s compliance with zoning regulation until more detailed plans are filed at later stages.  Future plans must comply with all regulations of the zoning ordinance, except for those that are specifically waived as part of the rezoning application and approval.


Please clarify the future use for the non common open space parcel.  If this lot is to be used as a lot for a SFD then the proffers should reflect this as an additional lot.


Engineering Considerations


The Engineering Department has reviewed the referenced plan submitted in April 2005 and has the following comments:


1.                     The concept SWM/BMP plan does not meet the minimum County requirements.  Conservation easements on private residential lots do not qualify.  BMP/credit for qualifying open space will be limited to jurisdictional wetlands and flood plain areas that do not have overlying encumbrances.  SWM/BMP’s are to be provided for the 72 lots that are being proposed.  The site for analysis is to be the 31 ac tract identified as PIN 6981-44-4079 that is proposed to be developed.  A separate analysis for the 5 additional lots on parcel 6981-27-6354 is to be provided.  The existing pond on PIN 6981-27-6354 may be utilized to meet the County requirements.  Proffer condition IV, 4 is not in conformance with BMP conservation credit allowed.


2.                     Almost all of the soils shown are characterized as having a high water table and/or being hydric.  This is an indication of possible wetlands.  USCOE/DEQ permits should be required prior to preliminary plan approval.  The creek should be protected.


3.                     The proposed road through the Green Meadows Subdivision will eliminate some of the BMP treatment facilities in the Green Meadows Subdivision and that subdivision will no longer meet the minimum requirements of the Fauquier County Stormwater management Ordinance.  This subdivision should address how this is to be remedied.  At this time, not enough information is available to determine if proffer condition IV, 4 will satisfy the minimum requirements.


4.                     The County recommends that no below grade basements be constructed on soils with high water table due to wetness unless the foundation drainage system of the structure is designed by a licensed professional engineer to assure a dry basement and preclude wet yards and recirculation of pumped or collected water.  Unless, in the opinion of the County Engineer, the topography of the lot in relation to the overlot-grading plan precludes grading the site to drain the basement to daylight, all basements shall be designed to gravity daylight without assistance from mechanical means.  All discharged water (mechanical or gravity) must be conveyed to the subdivision stormwater collection system and discharged though the stormwater management faculties.  Drainage easements, where necessary, shall be placed on the final plat.  A note shall be placed on the final plat stating that “Basements are not recommended in mapping units 74B, 78A, and 79A.  Basements in these mapping units are subject to flooding due to high seasonal water tables.  Sump systems may run continuously, leading to possible premature pump failure.”  Proffer condition IV, 2 may not be in conformance with this.


5.                     The area proposed for development appears to have been slated for non-common open space in perpetuity in condition #5 of the rezoning of May 1, 1990.  Can lots and common open space replace this previous condition since some of the lots from this previous rezoning appear to have been recorded?


6.                     Typical street section should be based on traffic counts. 


7.                     The cul de sacs to the north should be connected to allow for better traffic movement.


8.                     The streets in the Green Meadows Subdivision were designed for internal traffic only.  An additional 720 VPD generated by this subdivision may exceed the design volumes.  The Green Meadow Subdivision roads have not been accepted into the State Road System at this time, so there is no public street access to this site.


9.                     Since the drainage area to the creek is substantially more than 100 acres, the final construction plans will require that drainage easements will be required at the 100 year flood water surface elevation to preserve the inundation zone.  Houses should not be constructed in the inundation zone.  Lots 47, 48, 67, 66, 13, 14, 15, 16, 35, 49, 50, 65, 34, and others may have to be relocated.


10.                 Based on soils types shown the proposed dry ponds are not appropriate.  Proffer conditions IV, 4 is contradictory to this.


11.                 No stormwater runoff generated form new development shall be discharged into jurisdictional wetland without adequate treatment.


12.                 An overlot grading plan is to be provided as part of the Final Construction Plans.  It is to show downspout discharges and sump pump discharges.


13.                 Proof of provisions for adequate fire flow as outlined by the Office of Emergency Services will be required with the first submission of the Final Construction Plans.


14.                 Houses are not to be located in existing swales or streams.  These areas shall be preserved to the maximum extent practicable.


Soil Scientist


After reviewing the County Soil Survey information in the office for the above stated rezoning application stamped by Timothy W. Vaughan, the following comments are made.


1.                  Lots 1-6 primarily consist of 47C, Elioak – Fauquier complex, and 16B Meadowville silt loam.  Map unit 47C is rated good for general development while 16B is rated poor due to intermittent high water tables and concentrated runoff.


2.                  Lots 1 – 37 and the remaining portion of the property predominantly consists of soils rated very poor for general development and may contain wetlands.  A small portion of these areas are rated good.


3.                  The majority of the parcels are mapped as hydric soils or as map units with potential for hydric soil inclusions.  A wetland determination and/or permits from the Corps of Engineers will be essential on this site.  See attached map.


4.                  Wetness and high shrink-swell ratings are problems on a majority of the soils on these parcels.  Also, soils having a low bearing capacity when wet.  Therefore, a geotechnical study is recommended for this site.




The Warrenton Residency staff reviewed the above referenced rezoning dated March 24, 2005, and has the following comments:


1.                  Traffic Impact Analysis is indicating that Green Meadows is a 47-unit subdivision, but the preliminary plan was approved for 93 units.


2.                  There are two access points to Green Meadows that are both called Clarkes Meadow Drive, but it is unclear from the study which one was evaluated because the study does not reflect the second access.


3.                  Data collection for the traffic counts on Clarkes Road were not included with the TIA.  In 2001, VDOT’s traffic count indicated an ADT of 291.  A lower count than this appears to be indicated in the TIA.


4.                  Per VDOT’s February 2, 2005 comments, the 2005 Road Design Manual Appendix B Subdivision Street Design Guide indicates that streets with a vehicle per day count of 400 to 2000 should have a curb to curb width of 36-foot.  Phases 1 and 2 of Green Meadow were designed with a 36-foot road section for Clarkes Meadow Drive from Route 608 to Jay Logan Drive.  However, Phases 3 and 4 were only designed with a 30-foot road section for the remainder of Clarkes Meadow Drive.  Green Springs subdivision is proposing to access on the portion of road that is only designed for a 30-foot road section.  The additional traffic generated by the proposed development will be 720 vehicles per day not including the traffic in Green Meadows.  The comment response letter stated that the TIA indicated that the additional traffic would not have an adverse impact on the roads.  However, the TIA is only looking at the intersections, and does not address the width of the roads Under “Other Development” the TIA is listing the Clarkes Property with 48 units, but it does not indicate where this development is located.  Provide additional information.


5.                  VDOT’s previous comments questioned how the access through the adjoining property to Route 29 would be utilized.  The comment response letter indicated this was still being reviewed with the County.  In order to insure that all entrances are sufficient, this issue needs to be determined prior to final comments on the rezoning.


6.                  Who determined which intersections needed to be reviewed with the TIA?  Due to the close proximity of Route 608/Route 17 to the intersection of US 29 and Route 17, it appears that this intersection should have been evaluated.  If access is going to be made to Route 29, that intersection should also be included.


7.                  According to our Subdivision and Commercial Entrance Worksheet, based on the traffic counts indicated in the TIA the turn lanes on Route 17 should be 400 feet of left turn lane and taper and 350 feet of right turn lane and taper.  Provide information regarding the length of the existing turn lanes and tapers.


8.                  Per our previous comments, demonstrate with a sight distance profile that the proposed access on Clarke Meadow Drive meets the current minimum sight distance requirements.


9.                  Per our previous comments, a typical section needs to be provided for the proposed streets.  The streets will need to be constructed in accordance with the 2005 Subdivision Street Requirements Manual and Road Design Manual, and it should be indicated on the plan that the streets are being proposed for public street purposes.




After reviewing the TIA, Kellerco has the following comments.


1.                  Percentage of Heavy Vehicles is Too Low


A 2% assumption was used in all the HCS analyses for not only Route 17 through traffic but also turning movements in/out of Sheetz.  Hopefully, the March 9, 2005 traffic count included truck classification because 2% is believed to be too low for both Route 17 and the Sheetz driveway movements.  Either the 2% needs to be confirmed with actual data or more realistic heavy vehicle percentages need to be used in all the HCS analyses.


2.                  Application of Annual Growth Rate of 8% Only to Route 17 Through Movements for 2007 Background Traffic Needs to be Reassessed


Since Sheetz’s driveway traffic is obviously related to Route 17 traffic, it seems that if Route 17 through traffic increases 16% in two years all the turning movements in/out of Sheetz should not be 0% for two years.  The four major movements should therefore be increased at the same rate; i.e. +16%, to reflect increased Sheetz traffic as the Route 17 through traffic increases.  As noted in item 1, the appropriate heavy vehicle percentages need to be applied to these four Sheetz movements. 


3.                  Residential Site Trip Distribution Should be Confirmed


While a 90%/10% geographic distribution has been used for both the Clarke’s property and Green Springs property, this percentage distribution should be compared to other residential distributions used in other area TIA’s.  For example, this location may attract more residential traffic to/from the Fredericksburg area making the 10% too low.


4.                  No Turn Lane Dimensions are Provided on Route 17 so the Need to Lengthen Existing Left/Right Turn Lanes Cannot be Confirmed to Serve Higher Traffic Volumes


Existing left/right turn lane lengths need to be indicated for Route 17 to verify that increased turning movement traffic in 2007 does not justify longer left/right turn lanes. 


5.                  Signal Warrant Analysis Needs to be Done for 2007


Since the Route 17 through volumes are so high and the side street delay for the Sheetz driveway is LOS D and could be LOS D with the suggested item 1 and 2 comments, an updated TIA should included a signal warrant analysis.


6.                  No Mention of Possible Long-Term Changes in Assess or Land Use


A year or so ago Sheetz discussed a site plan for expansion and access modification.  Presumably this expansion is not anticipated by 2007 because it would impact the Route 17/Sheetz/Clarkes Road interchange.  Also, the Opal Comprehensive Plan introduced a relocation of Clarkes Road to the east so it could extend east of Sheetz.  This relocation was discussed along with the Sheetz expansion.


Summary and Recommendations:


It is recommended that the Board of Supervisors hold the public hearing on this item.  Staff strongly encourages the applicant to request postponement to allow for additional time to work out project refinements and to allow the referral agencies to comment on the revisions.  The June 2, 2005 proffers and anticipated revised CDP reflect a prior submission that has not been reviewed by the referral agencies.  The County also needs to better understand the affordable housing proposal, as well as how it will continue effectively through time.  The applicant has met with staff and indicates that a new version of the Concept Development Plan will be provided to the Planning Office.  Although this item may not make it in time to be part of this report.


The applicant has been working diligently with staff to address referral agency comments (site access, engineering issues, trails and recreation and proffer revisions) and refine the project to address those concerns.  However, the site access via the Green Meadows subdivision remains unresolved.  The applicant indicates that they will have a proffer to address a second access point based on discussions with VDOT.  In addition, both VDOT and Kellerco comments on the TIA should be addressed.


Staff also notes the inclusion of the affordable units, via proffers, is a project enhancement as there is a need for this type of housing in the County.  However, more detail regarding the type of unit, how the lot is conveyed to the home builder, the cost, the projected house cost, as well as details regarding re-sale limitations placed on the lot and the qualified homeowner, if any, is needed. 


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

Fauquier County Department of Community Development

Virginia Department of Transportation




  1. Rezoning Concept Development Plan
  2. Proffer Statement