Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Various-See attached



June 9, 2005


Staff Lead:




Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator

Community Development




An Ordinance to Approve the Third Renewal of and Eighteenth Addition to the Middleburg Marshall Agricultural and Forestal District


Topic Description:


On March 6, 2006, the Middleburg Marshall Agricultural and Forestal District expires.  The proposed Ordinance would renew the District for an additional term to expire June 30, 2014. The renewal includes all existing parcels, 25 acres or larger in size, whose owners have not requested withdrawal, and all parcels under 25 acres whose owners have requested inclusion and have demonstrated compliance with the Board’s 1990 policy for parcels less than 25 acres in size.  The renewal would also incorporate the addition of new parcels that have requested to join during the renewal process.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached Ordinance.


Financial Impact Analysis:




Summary Staff Report:


History of the District


The Middleburg Marshall Agricultural and Forestal District was created in 1981. At the time of its inception, 70 parcels totaling 8,348 acres were included in the District. The District has been renewed twice, in 1990 and 1997. The District now consists of 154 parcels totaling 13,579 acres. On March 6, 2006, the District expires.




Renewal Process


The Code of Virginia establishes procedures for the review and renewal of local agricultural and forestal Districts.  The renewal process is intended to provide the local jurisdiction with an opportunity to re-evaluate the agricultural and forestal significance of the land remaining in the District, and to change or add conditions to the parcels in the District.  The renewal process also provides landowners in the District an opportunity to re-evaluate their participation in the District; any landowner may withdraw their parcel from the District during the renewal process by written request.


Fauquier County sent letters to all owners of property in the District notifying them of the renewal process and their options relative to the renewal.   Property owners may continue to make requests for withdrawals and additions up to the time the Board of Supervisors acts on the renewal. 




Pursuant to the Code of Virginia, any landowner with property in the District may request to withdraw their land during the renewal process by submitting a written request for withdrawal.  As of May 31, 2005, thirteen parcels with a total of 1358.49 acres have been requested to be withdrawn by the owners.


In 1990, the Board of Supervisors adopted a policy stating that parcels less than 25 acres in size will not be permitted within an agricultural and forestal District unless the parcel is under an open space easement, or the parcel is part of a working farm totaling more than 25 acres which are included within the agricultural and forestal District. Therefore, any parcel less than 25 acres will be automatically removed from the District during the renewal process unless a landowner specifically requests that the parcel remain in the District and demonstrates compliance with the Board’s 1990 policy.  At the direction of the Agricultural and Forestal Committee, staff has asked the owners of these smaller parcels requesting to specifically confirm that they are either part of a working farm over 25 acres in the District or  under open space easement.


There are 26 parcels in the current District that are less than 25 acres.  Of these 26 parcels, 7 are being removed since no request has been made by the owner for inclusion and 2 have requested to be withdrawn by the owners.  The owners of the remaining 17 parcels have asked to be included in the renewed District and have demonstrated compliance with the Board’s 1990 policy.




The Code of Virginia also allows additions to be made to the District during the renewal process up until Board action on the renewal.  As of May 31, 2005,  the following requests for additions have been received:




            PIN#                                  Owners                                         Acres

1.         6081-99-1286            Greater Cotland, LLC                           51.76 acres

2.         6091-97-4445            Jerold & Marjorie Principato                 43.76 acres

3.         7001-06-4176            Jerold & Marjorie Principato                 20.00 acres

4.         7001-07-7765            Jerold & Marjorie Principato               42.90 acres


The application materials for these parcels are attached. 


Staff has recommended inclusion of the Greater Cotland parcel in the District.  It is located at the intersection of Lambdon Road and Burrland Lane; it is part of a working farm which harvests hay. Cattle and horses also graze the land.


Staff has recommended inclusion of the Principato parcels. The parcels are located off Landmark Road; These parcels are being used for hay production. 


Existing Conditions


The Board may place conditions on the renewal of any District.  Currently, all parcels in the Middleburg Marshall Agricultural and Forestal District are subject to the following conditions:


1. That pursuant to Title 15.1, Chapter 36. Section 15.1-1512(b) 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.


a.   All uses allowed by right in the applicable zoning District(s) for each parcel listed in this Ordinance shall require a special exception, except that farming uses and single family dwellings on a legally recorded parcel of record shall be permitted by right.

b.      Subdivisions of land as defined in Article 2-39 of the Fauquier County Subdivision Ordinance are not permitted.

c.        No special exception shall be in conflict with the purposes for which the District was created.


2. That these parcels shall qualify for land use value assessment provided that the parcels meet the criteria of Section 58.1-3229 and 58.1-3244 of the Code of Virginia.


3. That the owners of land within the District shall not terminate the District except as provided for in Section 15.1-1511(e) of the Code of Virginia.


4.  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 15.1-1511 (e) of the Code of Virginia.


5.  That parcels under twenty-five (25) acres shall be excluded except where exempted by the Board.


In addition, recent additions to the District have had these additional conditions placed on them:


1. If a parcel is sold, it is to be withdrawn from the District.

2.  If a parcel is sold, divided or boundary adjusted to below 25 acres, it is to be withdrawn from the District.


Agricultural and Forestal Advisory Committee and Planning Commission Review


The Agricultural and Forestal Advisory Board and the Planning Commission have both met to review this renewal and application for addition to the District. 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 recommended that the District be renewed subject to the conditions recommended by staff. The Committee asked staff to follow up with additional review of parcels less than 25 acres, to ensure that owners of such parcels meet the criteria established by the Board of Supervisors in 1990, and also to be sure owners of such parcels realize they must take affirmative action to stay in the District. Staff has carefully reviewed the smaller parcels recommended for inclusion to ensure they do meet the policy. Multiple letters have been sent to the owners advising all of the actions necessary to stay in or be removed from the District.


Staff Recommended Conditions:


The staff recommended conditions are incorporated into the attached Ordinance.


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

Commissioner of the Revenue

Agricultural Development Office



1.                  List of Parcels in District with Status

2.                  Copy of Applications for new additions

3.                  Proposed Ordinance