PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

 

Owners/Applicants:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Dominion Virginia Power (Applicant and Easement Owner)/Stanley M. & Sue F. Heflin, Porter W. & Teresa M. Longerbeam, Mary Jo Lynskey, Nancy M. McCuiston, Bonnie M. Morgan, Brian A. Morgan, Daniel W. Morgan, Gregory T. Morgan, Joel H. Morgan, Michael J. Morgan, Timothy J. Morgan, William F. Morgan, Jenifer S. Williams, Joseph William & Beverly G. Hayes, Cynthia Jo Stroud, and The Allen Family Ltd. Partnership (Property Owners)

June 11, 2009

 

Staff Lead:

 

Department: 

Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning

Community Development

 

Magisterial District:                                                                                                                        PIN:

Cedar Run                                                                         7839-84-6628-000, 7849-10-8611-000
7849-11-3813-000, 7849-15-7177-000,
7849-17-0225-000, 7849-27-8879-000
& 7849-28-3304-000

Service District: None

Topic: 

 

SPEX09-CR-018 & SPEX09-CR-019:  Applicant wishes to obtain a Category 20 Special Exception to allow for the addition of 1.6 miles of 115 kV electrical conductor onto the western side of State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved 230 kV transmission line structures north from the Bristers Substation.  Applicant also wishes to add two 3-pole structures to connect the new conductor to the existing 115 kV line east to the Sowego Substation.  A Category 23 Special Exception is also required for construction of the utility poles within the FEMA 100-year floodplain.  The new line would be located within the existing 240’ wide Dominion easement (VEPCO right-of-way). 

 

Topic Description:

Section 3-320.6 of the Zoning Ordinance requires a Special Exception for utility transmission facilities not subject to State Corporation Commission (SCC) control.  The SCC regulates transmission lines greater than 138 kV; therefore, the proposed 115 kV transmission line requires a Special Exception.

The applicant is proposing approximately 1.6 miles of 115 kV electrical conductor north from the Bristers Substation.  This new 115 kV line would be attached on the empty arms on the western side of the 230 kV towers currently under construction.  (The 230 kV line currently under construction extends from the Bristers Substation north to the Gainesville Substation and is parallel to and east of an existing 500 kV line.)  The proposed 115 kV line would connect to an existing 115 kV line at a point just south of Courthouse Road (Route 609).  At the junction where the proposed line intersects with the existing 115 kV line, two 3-pole structures (40’ in height and 75’ in height) are proposed to bring the 115 kV line under the 230 kV line.  Except for the installation of the two 3-pole structures, the project involves only the addition of new overhead wire.  No additional right-of-way is required with this proposal. 

The applicant’s Statement of Justification (Attachment 1) notes that at present, the 115 kV service to the Sowego Substation comes from two points - the Remington Substation to the west and the Possum Point Generation Station in Prince William County to the east. The 115 kV line from Remington is being removed, and Dominion is seeking to continue to provide more than one source of 115 kV to the Sowego Substation.  This will ensure reliable service in case of an outage.  The Statement of Justification indicates that “This request is being made because the 115 kV line from Remington will be removed for future transmission improvements in the corridor from Remington towards Sowego.”  Staff would point out that, in short, the existing 115 kV line from the Remington Substation to the location of the two proposed 3-pole structures is being removed to make way for the new Meadow Brook-Remington-Loudoun 500 kV line (part of the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line (TrAIL).  This 65-mile overhead transmission line was approved by the State Corporation Commission on October 7, 2008.

A Category 23 Special Exception is also required because the two proposed 3-pole structures will be located in the 100-year floodplain. 

 

Location,  Zoning and Current Land Use:

The proposed 115 kV line will be located in an existing 240’ wide Dominion easement corridor (VEPCO right-of-way) running north for approximately 1.6 miles from the Bristers Substation.  (See “Proposed 115kV Line” on location map and see Attachment 2 – Special Exception Plat.)  The Properties between Cromwell Road (Route 639) and Courthouse Road (Route 609) affected by this proposal are zoned Rural Agricultural (RA) and are in agricultural use. 

Bristers-Sowego Project Location

 

  

Bristers-Sowego Zoning and FEMA 100-year Floodplain

 

                   

Surrounding Zoning and Current Land Use:

Properties in this area are generally zoned RA and are in agricultural use.  A portion of one PIN (7839-84-6628-000) is zoned Village. Village Zoned land to the northeast is part of the village of Bristersburg.  The power lines and poles are not located within the Village zoning. 

A portion of the new line will be within Dominion easements located on properties within the Southern Fauquier Agricultural and Forestal District (PINs 7849-17-0225 and 7849-15-7177). Additional requirements related to the Agricultural and Forestal District are not triggered in this instance pursuant to Va. Code §15.2-4313.

Environmental Features:

A Category 23 Special Exception is required because the two proposed 3-pole structures will be located in the 100-year floodplain.  Standard conditions related to fill in the floodplain have been prepared.

 

The applicant included with this application the permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) associated with the construction of the 230 kV structures upon which the new line will be attached (Attachment 3). The construction is covered by the Corps Nationwide Permit (12) Utility Line Activities (March 19, 2007).  An individual Corps permit is not required with this application. The permit is valid until March 18, 2012.

Special Exception Analysis:

The applicant has met the requirements of Zoning Ordinance Section 5-006, General Standards for Special Exception Uses.  General standards for all Special Exceptions require that the proposed use will not adversely affect the use or development of neighboring properties, will not conflict with existing traffic, and other such criteria to protect the surrounding environment.  In this case, the proposed utility line relocation, within the existing Dominion easement, will not cause degradation of the surrounding area or add traffic.

The following applicable standards were used to evaluate this project:

PART 20                                5-2000             CATEGORY 20 PUBLIC UTILITIES

5-2001                         Additional Submission Requirements

In addition to the submission requirements set forth in Section 011 above, all applications for Category 20 uses shall be accomplished by the following:

1.   Four (4) copies of a map showing the utility system of which the proposed use will be an integral part, together with a written statement outlining the functional relationship of the proposed use to the utility system.

2.   Four (4) copies of a statement, prepared by a certified engineer, giving the basic reasons for selecting the particular site as the location for the proposed facility and certifying that the proposed use will meet the performance standards of the district in which located.

The applicant has met the aforementioned criteria with its submittal materials. The Special Exception Plat shows the relationship of the proposed utility line to the Bristers Substation and Sowego Substation, and that the new line will be located within existing easement corridors.

5-2002                         Standards for All Category 20 Uses

In addition to the general standards set forth in Section 006 above, all Category 20 special permit and special exception uses shall satisfy the following standards:

1.      Category 20 special permit and special exception uses shall not be required to comply with the lot size requirements or the bulk regulations set forth for the zoning district in which located in Part 4 of Article 3.  However, such requirements may be established in the conditions under which such a special permit or special exception is granted.

Not applicable to the project.

2.      No land or building in any district other than the Industrial Districts shall be used for the storage of materials or equipment, or for the repair or servicing of vehicles or equipment or for the parking of vehicles, except those needed by employees connected with the operation of the immediate facility.

Not applicable to the project.

3.      In all zoning districts, other than the I-2 District, all equipment, machinery and facilities not located within an enclosed building shall be effectively screened.

Not applicable to the project.

4.      If the proposed location of a Category 20 use is in a Residential  District there shall be a finding that there is no more suitable site available for such use in a Commercial or Industrial District, except that in the case of electric transformer stations and telephone and telegraph exchanges or dial centers, there shall be a finding that there is no alternative site available in a Commercial or Industrial District within distance of one mile, unless there is a substantial showing that it is impractical for satisfactory service to be rendered from an available location in such Commercial or Industrial District.

Not applicable to the project.

5-2301                         Standards for All Category 23 Uses

1.   No such use shall cause an increase in the level of flooding or velocity of flood waters.

The applicant will work with County Engineers to determine the appropriate type of calculations to submit with the Site Plan to demonstrate this standard.

2.   No such use shall create a potential hazard of debris subject to movement by flood waters which might cause damage downstream.

The applicant will work with County Engineers to determine the appropriate type of calculations to submit with the Site Plan to demonstrate this standard.

3.   The John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District (JMSWCD) shall be given the opportunity to comment on such uses.

JMSWCD will review the Site Plan.

4.   The applicant shall have obtained and shall present evidence attesting any applicable approvals by State and Federal authorities concerning such a use.

A Special Exception condition has been drafted to this effect.

5.   Materials and equipment stored in the floodplain shall not be buoyant, flammable or explosive, and shall not be subject to major damage by flooding or such materials and equipment must be firmly anchored to prevent flotation or movement and/or can be readily removed from the area within the time available after flood warning.

Not applicable to this project.

6.   Special exceptions shall only be issued after the Board of Supervisors has determined that the granting of such will not result in (a) unacceptable or prohibited increase in flood heights, (b) additional threats to public safety, (c) extraordinary public expense, (d) create nuisances, (e) cause fraud or victimization of the public, or (f) conflict with local law or ordinances.

If approved, and subsequent to approval of the applicant’s engineering calculations, this Special Exception will not result in an increase in flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud or victimization of the public or conflict with local laws or ordinances.  A Special Exception condition on flood heights and/or velocities has been drafted.

7.   Special exceptions shall only be issued after the Board of Supervisors has determined that the special exception will be necessary to provide the applicant with reasonable use of the parcel of land in question, taken as a whole.

The applicant wishes to relocate utility lines within its existing easement in order to continue to provide reliable electrical service.  One existing 115 kV line is being removed to make way for a new SCC approved 500 kV line.

8.   The Zoning Administrator shall notify the applicant for a special exception in writing, at the time of filing, that the issuance of a special exception to construct a structure below the one hundred (100) year flood elevation (a) will increase risks to life and property, and (b) will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.

Noted.

9.      A record of the above notification as well as all special exception actions, including justification for their issuance, shall be maintained and any special exceptions which are issued shall be noted in the annual report submitted to the Federal Insurance Administrator.

Noted.

Staff and Review Agency Comments:

Zoning

1.         The applicant proposes to locate an existing 115 kV power line into an existing utility right-of-way on the empty “arms” of existing structures being utilized by Dominion for a 230 kV transmission line.   Two new three-pole structures are proposed to be placed within existing right-of-way at the location where the relocated 115 kV line intersects and connects back to existing 115 kV line.   The two new structures will be located within existing utility right-of-way on PIN 7849-28-3304, within an area designated as the Floodplain Overlay District. 

2.         Special exception approval is required to allow:

a.   The addition of new power lines is not subject to SCC approval within the existing Dominion right-of-ways, pursuant to §3-320.6 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.

b.   Construction involving structures or fill in the 100-year floodplain pursuant to §3-323 and §4-406.2 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.

3.         The following special exception standards are applicable:

a.   Public Utility

i.    5-006 General Standards for all Special Exceptions;

ii.   5-2001 Additional Submission Requirements for Category 20 Uses;

iii.  5-2002 Standards for All Category 20 Uses.

b.   Floodplain

i.    5-006 General Standards for all Special Exceptions;

ii.   5-2301 Standards for All Category 23 Uses.

            Zoning staff defers to planning staff on the assessment of the special exception standards.

4.         Although a portion of the new line will be within Dominion easements located on properties within the Southern Fauquier Agricultural and Forestal District (PINs 7849-17-0225 and 7849-15-7177), additional requirements related to the Agricultural and Forestal District are NOT triggered in this instance pursuant to Va. Code §15.2-4313.

Technical Division

Engineering

Dominion Virginia Power is regulated under a state permit for stormwater management, BMPs, and erosion and sediment control; therefore, Dominion Virginia Power is exempt from local regulations for these practices.

Soils
No comment.

Erosion & Sediment Control
No comment.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

The Warrenton Residency staff reviewed the above referenced Special Exceptions to locate an additional line.  If the line crosses any state maintained roads, a VDOT permit will be required prior to construction.

A Special Exception condition has been drafted.

Planning Commission Summary and Action of April 30, 2009:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at their work session.  A public hearing was held on the application.  The applicant indicated the project was necessary to continue to provide reliable service to the Sowego Substation (owned by NOVEC).  One member of the public spoke and wondered how his property was affected by the project.  Dominion Virginia Power representatives and staff met with the property owner after the meeting to address his questions.

The application was forwarded with a unanimous recommendation for approval, subject to a series of development conditions.

Summary and Recommendation:

This application, subject to conditions, has met the standards set forth in the Zoning Ordinance for Category 20 and Category 23 Special Exceptions as well as Section 5-006 General Standards for All Special Exceptions. 

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

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

 

 

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

Citizens of Fauquier County

 

Attachments:

1.        Statement of Justification

2.        Special Exception Plat

3.        U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Permit

 

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