PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owners/Applicants:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Elk Mount Farm, LLC & William C. Patton (Owners)
Lee Hollander/Range 82, LLC (Applicant)

June 11, 2009

Staff Lead:

Department: 

Holly Meade, Senior Planner

Community Development

 

Magisterial District:                                                                                                            PIN:
Cedar Run                                                                                                        7819-66-3353-000

Service District:  None                                                                                                                                      

 

Topic:  

A Resolution to Approve SPEX09-CR-013, SPEX09-CR-014, SPEX09-CR-015, SPPT09-CR-030  and CCRV09-CR-003 – A Category 5 Special Exception to Allow for an Outdoor Technical Training Facility, a Category 11 Special Exception to Allow for a Public Safety Facility (Both Emergency Services and Sheriff’s Office Facilities), and a Category 20 Special Exception to Allow for an Aboveground Water Storage Facility;  an Amendment to an Approved Special Permit to Reconfigure an Existing Range Area, Add a Range Area, and Add Limited Storage of Firearms and Ammunition; and a Comprehensive Plan Conformance Determination in Accord With Code Of Virginia, Section 15.2-2232 As To Whether the Location of These Facilities on This Property is Substantially in Accord With the Comprehensive Plan

 

Topic Description:

Fauquier County has been pursuing the construction of a training facility that would be shared by Fauquier County Emergency Services, local volunteer fire companies, and the Sheriff’s Office.  The County began the Special Exception process for this use on property located off Green Road (Route 674) adjacent to the County landfill in July 2008.  After several public hearings, in January 2009, the County requested that further consideration of the Special Exception requests on the Green Road site be postponed for six months while other options were pursued. 

More recently, the County approached Range 82 to discuss the possibility of locating the proposed public safety facility at the existing Range 82 operation.  Range 82 currently operates as a recreational shooting range.  The facility was approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals in April 2005.  The approved site plan encompasses fifty acres of the 238-acre parcel.  The approved site plan allows the construction of four shooting ranges (two 25-yard ranges and two 100-yard ranges) as well as the use of an existing structure as an administrative building and the placement of trailers at the range locations.  Through this Special Permit/Special Exception process the applicant is requesting additional ranges.

The public safety training facility would consist of a firing range, a 360 Degree simulation area, and fire and rescue training areas.  The firing range and 360 Degree simulation area would be encompassed in the existing 50 acres that Range 82 leases from Elk Mount Farm.  If approved, the fire and rescue training areas will be subject to a separate lease.

If approved, the final configuration would consist of two 200-yard ranges, one 50-yard range, two 25-yard ranges, and a 360 Degree range.  The 360 Degree range and the 50-yard range shall be limited to governmental entities only.  There is a provision allowing the 50-yard range to be used by the public should it be covered in the future.

A brief description of the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Services Department’s needs are as follows:

Sheriff’s Office – Firing Range

The Department is required to provide training for all sworn personnel and to provide certification that personnel meet state standards, including the requirement for re-certification in the use of firearms every six months.   Each officer is required to shoot a minimum of fifty (50) rounds, twelve (12) rounds from their shotgun and thirty (30) rounds from their assigned patrol rifle.  In the past, the Department has used the range at the Warrenton Training Center.  However, the time available for use of this facility continues to be restricted and is now limited to weekends.  This adversely affects the cost of training - requiring overtime, schedule changes, and travel expenses estimated at $28,000 annually.

If approved, Range 82 will guarantee the Sheriff’s Department up to thirty-six days per year, for as long as the Special Exception is valid, to use the site to meet annual training requirements mandated by the Department of Criminal Justice. 

Emergency Services - Fire Services

An important part of the fire training program is the opportunity for field training.  The in-County burn building previously used for training was abandoned several years ago due to deterioration of that structure.  Fire Services now must use facilities in neighboring jurisdictions of Prince William, Loudoun and Orange counties.  The use of these facilities requires additional fuel costs, time, and greater scheduling difficulties.  In order to provide training for new fire personnel as well as training opportunities for existing staff, additional facilities are needed.  The ultimate facility would include two concrete pads – one for a structural burn fire training building, outdoor training structures (fire training trailer and maze trailer); and the other concrete pad for the vehicle crash area.  Eventually classrooms and a hazardous material training area would be needed.  The hazardous material training area would be located on the concrete pad housing the burn building and outdoor training structures.

The burn building would be for the simulation of apartment/townhouse fire responses.  The building would be at least three floors high, with access to all sides by fire apparatus.  The building would produce light smoke from hay, straw, and pallets burned in the fire rooms.  There will be air horns from time to time but no sirens.  Phase 2 of the project will include a vehicle crash area and classrooms with various storage structures.  The site will ultimately have twelve to fifteen participants plus instructors visiting two to three times per week.  In Phase 2 there will be a maximum of two classrooms with twenty-five students each.  Also included in the application is an aboveground tank for water storage that will be constructed in accordance with Health Department standards.   The water is needed for emergency simulations as well as cleanup.

Fauquier County currently has support from Rappahannock County, Culpeper County, and a Virginia Department of Fire Programs grant of $430,000 for the development and construction of a burn building specifically designed to meet today’s training needs.  The intention is to maximize cost sharing and utilize the site as a regional facility.  Based on preliminary discussions with Emergency Services personnel, the applicant feels the proposed 5-acre “pad site” can accommodate all of the proposed on-site fire training uses.

Changes to the Range 82 Facility

The layout and scope of Range 82 operations will need to be modified to accommodate both current range uses and uses proposed.  Many of the changes involve changes to conditions approved as part of the Special Permit.  The following is a summary of requested changes:

·         Provision of 200-yard Ranges:  Two 25-yard ranges and two 100-yard ranges were approved as part of the Special Permit.  The applicant contends in order to meet the needs of the County, the 100-yard ranges need to be lengthened to 200 yards.  A new 50-yard range is also sought. 

·         “360 Degree” Scenario Simulation Area:  Some law enforcement exercises depend on the simulation of real life scenarios where personnel are under threat of firearms from one or more direction.  Range 82 proposes to create a specialized area for this type of scenario training which would be surrounded by high earthen berms or walls.  Training in this area would employ non-toxic rounds to simulate live fire conflict.

·         Limited Storage of Firearms and Ammunition:  Current Special Permit conditions prohibit on-site storage of firearms and ammunition.  Range 82 would like to be able to offer storage to government certified security and/or law enforcement professionals. 

·         Reduced Lead Testing of Groundwater:  Current Special Permit conditions require quarterly testing of groundwater for lead contamination.  Range 82 is requesting this testing be reduced to annual, if after one year of quarterly testing no lead contamination has been detected.

·         Increased Daily Patron Cap:  Range 82 is requesting that range patrons be limited to a maximum of 100 (currently limited to 75); however, potentially 50 additional patrons will be on-site if the fire training facility is in operation.

·         Limitation on Weapon Use:  The request to allow up to .50 caliber for pistol/rifles, originally a part of this application, has been withdrawn by the applicant.

·         Revised Hours of Operation:  Current Special Permit conditions limit hours of operation to Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to thirty minutes before sundown, Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and no shooting on Sunday.  The applicant is requesting to allow weekday shooting to begin at 8:00 a.m., and allow Saturday shooting to continue until thirty minutes before sundown. 

·         Limited Low Light Operations:  Range 82 requests up to three nights a week (Tuesday through Thursday) for low light shooting which would take place immediately after sunset but no later than 10:30 p.m. during daylight saving time or 8:30 during non-daylight saving time.  This low light training would only be allowed for law enforcement, other government sanctioned security personnel, and occasional specialized night fire training.

·         No Blue Sky Structures:  Current Special Permit conditions require recreational shooting ranges to be equipped with “no blue sky” structures.  Range 82 would like the latitude to use other comparable certified safety measures on ranges used by security/law enforcement personnel; however, they have agreed to “no blue sky” design on all ranges except the 360 range and 50-yard range.

·         Placement of Additional Structures:  Range 82 anticipates needing additional training related structures in conjunction with the proposed uses that would be subject to County approvals.

·         Release from Time-Limited Approval:  The current Special Permit is limited to 5-year intervals requiring administrative renewal by the Zoning Administrator.  Due to the capital involved in the expansion requested herein, the applicant is requesting the time limit be removed.

On April 13, 2009 the Scott and Center District Commissioners made a site visit to Range 82, LLC.  The applicant gave the Commissioners a tour of the facility where the firearms and ammunition would be stored, as well as a tour of the existing 100-foot firing range.  During the site visit the applicants fired .308 caliber (7.62mm) and .223 caliber (5.56mm) rifles, both separately and in succession.  Staff and the Commissioners listened to the shooting from Midland Road (Route 610), approximately 3,800 feet from the range.  A diagram has been included as Attachment 10 showing the relation of the range to the road, the nearest homes, and Ebenezer Church.  While a technical sound test was not performed, staff did use the County’s decimeter to record noise.  The highest reading produced a sound at approximately 50 Db, significantly lower than the passing traffic at 68 Db or an airplane overhead which registered at 74 Db. 

In response to concerns of the Planning Commissioners and neighbors, the applicants have amended their request for one of the 200-yard ranges.  The total ranges now proposed are two 200-yard, one 50-yard, two 25-yard, and one 360 degree range.  The applicants are now proposing no shooting on Sundays and low-light shooting Tuesday – Thursday, until 10:30 p.m. during daylight saving time and 8:30 p.m. during non-daylight saving time.  These stipulations have been outlined in Condition 19 for Board of Supervisors’ consideration.

Staff has been working with the County Attorney’s office to develop language that would restrict Range 82, LLC to their current Special Permit restrictions until an agreement has been executed allowing Fauquier County to use the facility.  Once that agreement has been reached and signed, the applicant would be free to operate under the new Special Exception and revised Special Permit applications.  Condition 33 has been added for Board of Supervisors’ consideration.

Location,  Zoning and Current Land Use:

The property is located on the east side of Midland Road (Route 610) and zoned Rural Agricultural (RA).  A portion of the parcel is the site of the Range 82 recreational shooting range with the remainder being farmed. 

Zoning Map

zoningmaprange.jpg

 

Surrounding Zoning and Current Land Use:

The majority of the surrounding property is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA), with the exception of parcels to the west which are zoned Residential (R-1).  The surrounding property consists of farm land and single family dwellings. 

Comprehensive Plan/Land Use:

The property is not located within a Service District. The subject property is designated as a rural area and is subject to the Rural Areas Land Use Plan, Chapter Eight of the Comprehensive Plan.   Preservation and enhancement of the rural areas and preservation of the agricultural economy in Fauquier County have consistently been major goals of the County.  The property is also enrolled in the County’s land use program.

Comprehensive Compliance Determination: 

§15.2-2232, Code of Virginia, Comprehensive Plan Compliance Review.  The Planning Commission is required to make a finding that the proposed outdoor technical training facility (a public facility feature) is substantially in accord with the adopted Comprehensive Plan at this location.  Chapter 9 of the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan, Public Facilities and Utilities, lists public facilities as “schools, parks recreational facilities, libraries, health and human services, and public safety.” 

“The County’s primary goal for community facilities, services, and utilities is to provide for the physical, cultural, and public safety needs of the County.”  The following are goals relating to public facilities as stated in Chapters 1 and 9 of the Comprehensive Plan:

Goal #6, “To plan for necessary public facilities and utilities through public and private cooperation within those areas presently containing services, and to establish priorities for service implementation in those areas presently not served.”

Goal #8, “To effect economical and efficient use of public funds by planning for a rate growth which will achieve the goals of the County and will not exceed the ability of the County to provide services to its citizens.”

Public Facilities policy guidelines are recommended to guide the facility and utility planning for the County.  Some of the general guidelines are listed below:

·         Public facilities and services should be sited in a manner which will efficiently and economically serve the greatest number of residents while keeping within the plans for County growth as presented in this Plan.

·         All public facilities and utilities should be designed and developed so as to limit environmental degradation. 

·         Facilities should be appropriately planned to provide adequate levels of service.

·         Develop alternative and stable funding sources to enable volunteer departments to adequately serve the increasing demand for services.

·         Increase public awareness and interest in the volunteer system.

Chapter 9 of the Comprehensive Plan discusses training for fire departments and rescue in great detail.  “Within the last decade, state and federal governments have become much more involved in developing and regulating training programs for fire departments and rescue squads.  Whereas only minimal training standards existed in the early seventies, rigorous training programs now exist requiring 85 hours for a basic Firefighter I class and 110 hours for basic Emergency Medical Technical class.  Advanced Firefighter III and Cardiac Technician classes require appreciably greater hours of training.  Today’s training in both services is also much more specialized than fifteen years ago.  Firefighter classes have developed for officers, pump operators, hazardous materials, and ladder truck operations.  EMS classes have been developed for emergency vehicle operations, vehicle extraction, hazardous materials, and elevated rescue.”

Chapter 9 of the Comprehensive Plan also includes a plan for public safety.  “The location of the Sheriff’s Office and other support functions in the Warrenton area is an appropriate central repository for records and administrative functions.”  The site off Midland Road is not for records or administrative functions.  Midland Road (Route 610) is designated in the Comprehensive Plan as a major collector.

Following Virginia Code Section 15.2-2232 review for Comprehensive Plan compliance, the County could make a determination that the proposed public facility is in conformance with Chapter 9 of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  Chapter 9, Public Facilities and Utilities, anticipates the need for a public safety facility for the residents of Fauquier County.  Even though the Comprehensive Plan does not designate a location for such a facility, Fauquier County places an emphasis on the public safety needs of the County and the economical and efficient use of public funds, for which this proposal satisfies both.

The Planning Commission made a finding that the proposed use in this location is not substantially in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.  This finding is forwarded to the Board which must either concur with or overrule the Planning Commission’s finding.

Environmental Impacts:

As part of the previous Special Permit approval process, Range 82 submitted a Lead Management Plan.  The plan was required to be prepared in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued publication EPA-902-B-01-001 “Best Management Practices for Outdoor Shooting Ranges.”  The Plan has been reviewed by the County Engineer’s office to ensure it was prepared in accord with the aforementioned standards.  The applicant is proposing to use the same procedures prescribed in the plan to apply to the new facility.

The County Engineer’s office review of the applicant’s Lead Management Plan is summarized in Attachment 9.  The on-site practices appear to be consistent with EPA guidelines for lead management; however, there is a need to improve record-keeping and follow-up measures.  A condition has been drafted addressing this and other environmental concerns.  It would require the applicant to have an approved plan in place prior to commencement of any new activities.

The applicant’s Lead Management Plan provides that all monitoring results and any proposed corrective measures are subject to the review of the Zoning Administrator.  The Zoning Administrator may, at her discretion, request additional input or analysis from the EPA, State Health Department, or other qualified independent testing/remediation service in order to determine an appropriate response to documented test findings.  One of the conditions drafted for consideration requires the applicant to submit a plan of corrective action should the Zoning Administrator note a pattern of increasing concentrations of lead or arsenic.  If subsequent testing demonstrates that the approved corrective measures have failed to stabilize or reduce lead and arsenic concentrations, the Zoning Administrator may require the applicant to fund the hiring of an independent expert mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the Zoning Administrator to develop a corrective action plan.  If subsequent testing continues to show contamination, the Special Permit/Special Exception approvals would be docketed for reconsideration.

Range 82 opened for business on October 30, 2008.  Information provided by the applicant in March 2009 shows that the range was actually utilized about 1/3 of the available days (35 days out of 103 possible days), and that the average number of shooters on any given day of use was about 10 versus the 75 maximum shooters permitted per day under the existing Special Permit.  As operations for the first four months are far below the maximums allowed under existing permits, it is difficult to fully assess the impacts of the existing operation at this point.  Despite low usage, it appears 100,000 rounds have already been fired.

Staff has consulted with the County Engineer’s office and it appears that any potential contaminants in the fire training areas (i.e., water, ash, soot) would be handled through normal stormwater management and best management practices.  A condition has been proposed that all run-off from the vehicle crash area will be directed to an oil/water separator if actual vehicles are used for simulations.

Special Exception/Special Permit Analysis:

Article 5-006, General Standards

General standards seek to ensure that the requested use does not adversely affect neighboring properties.  The proposed use is located in a rural area on 50 acres of a parcel containing 238.24 acres.  On April 6, 2005 the existing Range 82 facility was approved by Special Permit following the findings of the Board of Zoning Appeals that the General Standards outlined in this Section of the Zoning Ordinance had been met.  The Board of Supervisors need to determine if the increase in use will satisfy these same General Standards (Section 5-006).

Category 5 (#SPEX09-CR-002) Outdoor Technical Training Facility:

Article 5-501, Standards for All Category 5 Uses

All off-street parking and loading areas, swimming pools and tennis courts and similar facilities shall be effectively screened and shall not be located in any required yard in all Residential and Rural Districts.

All parking and loading areas are located outside of any required yard and will be required to be screened from view.

Article 5-502 Additional Standards for All Category 5 Uses Other than Pre-School/Day Care Center/Nursery School

  1. No structure used for or in conjunction with the use shall be located within 100 feet of any adjoining property which is in a Residential or Rural District.

This has been included as a condition of development.

  1. The site shall have minimum road frontage as required for the site’s zoning district, on a road designated as a major collector in the Comprehensive Plan, unless the Board of Supervisors or the Board of Zoning Appeals find that the type and amount of traffic generated by the facility is such that it will not cause an undue impact on the neighbors or adversely affect safety of road usage.

The property has frontage on Midland Road (Route 610) which is classified as a Rural Major Collector in Chapter 10, Map 10.1 of the Comprehensive Plan.

  1. All off-street parking and loading spaces, swimming pools and tennis courts and similar faculties shall be effectively screened and shall not be located in any required yard in all Residential and Rural Districts.

Duplicate standard (see 5-501 above).

Article 5-505 Additional Standards for Technical Schools (Outdoor)

  1. The minimum lot size requirements shall be five (5) acres.

The parcel contains approximately 238 acres.

  1. In consideration of an application for such a use, both safety and such factors as noise, vibration, dust and appearance will be taken into account and appropriate conditions imposed with respect thereto.

As part of the Special Permit approval process, Range 82 contracted Engineering Consulting Services, Ltd. (ECS) to perform extensive sound measurements of various firearms discharged at the range areas.  Sound measurements were recorded at 39 locations at varied distances and directions from the sound source.  The report concluded that all recorded decibel levels were within the noise standards outlined in the Zoning Ordinance.  The ECS report is included as Attachment 6.

Category 11, (SPEX09-CR-003) Public Uses:

Article 5-1101, Additional Submission Requirements

In addition to the submission requirements set forth in Section 001 above, all applications for Category 11 public uses shall be accompanied by a statement by an officer of the governmental body who shall be present giving the exact reasons for selecting the particular site as the location for the proposed facility, including any alternatives considered.

Statement is included as Attachment 2.

Article 5-1102, Standards for All Category 11 Uses

  1. For public uses, it shall be concluded that the proposed location of the special permit/special exception use is necessary for the rendering of efficient governmental services to residents of properties within the general area of the location.

The Statement of Justification included as Attachment 1 explains the County’s need for such a facility. 

  1. In or abutting the Rural and Residential District, all open off-street parking and loading areas shall be no closer than 25 feet from any lot line and shall be effectively screened.

Parking will be provided on-site.  There is a buffer required from all property lines and no facilities will be located in any required yard.  Actual compliance shall be verified at the time of site plan approval.

Article 5-1105, Additional Standards for Libraries and Public Safety Facilities

The facility shall have direct access to a road designated as a major collector (or higher) in the Comprehensive Plan unless the Board of Supervisors or the Board of Zoning Appeals finds that the type and amount of traffic generated by the facility is such that it will not cause an undue impact on the neighbors or adversely affect safety of road usage.

The property has frontage on Midland Road (Route 610) which is classified as a Rural Major Collector in Chapter 10, Map 10.1 of the Comprehensive Plan.


Category 20 (#SPEX09-CR-004), Public Utilities

Article 5-2001, Additional Submission Requirements

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.

This standard applies to utility systems.

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.

A letter certified by James R. Ashley, P.E. (Attachment 4) has been included with the submission.  The letter provides the basic reasons for selecting this particular site and certification that the proposed use will meet the performance standards of the RA zoning district.

Article 4-505Airport Safety Zone Height Limitations and Use Restrictions 

4-505 (A)

No structure shall be erected that will penetrate the floor of any zone.

The range will be within the horizontal zone.  The floor of this zone is 150 feet.  The “towers” used to monitor ranges are actually small covered platforms.  These structures will not exceed 15 feet in height.

4-505 (A)

There shall be no construction within 20,000 feet of the runway of towers, mono-poles, silos or other similar tall structures without approval of the Federal Aviation Administration.

No such structures are proposed.

4-505 (B)(1)

No use shall be made that will create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communications between the airport and aircraft.

No equipment is proposed that should interfere with navigation or radio communication.

4-505 (B)(2)

No use shall be made that diminishes the ability of pilots to distinguish between airport lights and other lights.

Lighting will be for evening security purposes only.

4-505 (B)(3)

No use shall be made that will result in a glare in the eyes of pilots.

Berms, observation platforms, and the “no blue sky” platform will be built out of non-reflective materials.

4-505 (B)(4)

No use shall be made that will impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport.

Complies.

4-505 (B)(5)

No use shall be made that creates the potential for bird strikes.

There is nothing that should cause birds to congregate at the facility and then simultaneously flush.

4-505 (B)(6)

No use shall be made that endangers or interferes with takeoff, landing, or maneuvering aircraft in the vicinity of the airport.

The range is designed with safety in mind.  Rifles and pistols do not shoot toward the airport.

Staff and Review Agency Comments: 

Zoning Office

1.   Zoning Staff confirms the following:

a.   The property is zoned RA/Rural Agriculture and, according to the Commissioner of the Revenue records, is in land use taxation.

b.   Surrounding properties are zoned RA/Rural Agriculture, with the 160-acre property immediately to the east in a Board of Supervisors’ Open Space easement. 

c.   The existing firing range (outdoor recreation use only) was approved by special permit (SPPT05-CR-025) on June 2, 2005 and site plan (SPMA06-CR-008) on March 28, 2008.

d.   The proposed use requires Special Exception approval to allow:

      i.   Range and Fire Training §3-305.5;

ii.  Public Safety Facility §3-311.16;

iii.  An aboveground water tank Utilities §3-320.3.

Noted, no action required.

3.                  The proposed Special Permits and Special Exceptions must be evaluated pursuant to the following standards in the Zoning Ordinance:

a.   Outdoor Recreational Range

i.    Section 5-006 General Standards for All Special Permits and Exceptions;

ii.   Section 5-901 Standards for All Category 9 Uses;

iii.  Section 5-904 Additional Standards for Firing Range, Skeet or Trapshooting Facility.

b.   Technical School (Outdoor)

i.    Section 5-006 General Standards for All Special Permits and Exceptions;

ii.   Section 5-501 Standards for All Category 5 Uses;

iii.  Section 5-502 Additional Standards for All Category 5 Uses Other than Pre-School/Day Care Center/Nursery School;

iv.  Additional Standards for Technical Schools (Outdoor).

c.   Public Safety Facilities

i.    Section 5-006 General Standards for All Special Permits and Exceptions;

ii.   Section 5-1101 Additional Submission Requirements;

iii.  Section 5-1102 Standards for All Category 11 Uses;

iv.  Section 5-1105 Additional Standards for Libraries and Public Safety Facilities.

d.   Public Utilities

i.    Section 5-006 General Standards for All Special Permits and Exceptions;

ii.   Section 5-2001 Additional Submission Requirements;

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

Zoning Staff defers to Planning Staff for the evaluation of standards.

An analysis of these Zoning Ordinance standards is provided within the previous “Special Exception/Special Permit Analysis” section of the staff report.

4.       The approval should clarify the extent of the property included under the special exception approval.   The application indicates the entire property is included and the plat shows the entire property; however, other information suggests that only 50 acres is intended to be covered by the permit.  

A condition of approval will specify that this approval is for the areas shown on the Special Exception/Special Permit plat.

Engineering

Conditions of Approval:

  1. The shooting range is not to be located in wetland areas.
  2. The shooting range will follow the EPA’s “Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges” document for lead management.
  3. Run-off from the shooting range will be directed to a Stormwater Management (SWM) facility(s) that will be tested for lead.
  4. All run-off from the vehicle crash area will be directed to an oil/water separator if actual vehicles are used for simulations.
  5. Natural drainageways are to be protected to the maximum extent practical.

These will be included as proposed Special Permit/Special Exception Conditions of Development.

Findings/Recommendations:

1.      There are soils present on the site that are characterized as hydric and potentially having hydric inclusions, which indicate the possibility of wetlands.

2.      Special Permit approval conditions require quarterly groundwater well and stormwater run-off monitoring for lead to be filed with the Zoning Administrator.  The tests have been submitted to the Zoning Administrator and are currently being reviewed. 

Noted.  The applicant is working with the Zoning Administrator to address.

Future Actions:

1.      A Jurisdictional Determination (JD) will be required as it appears that the previous JD issued for the existing Range 82 site plan did not include the areas proposed for the fire training areas.  If wetlands are present, evidence that all applicable permits have been acquired will be required prior to site plan approval.  (FCDSM 201.8 #4)

2.      Any SWM/BMP facility that receives run-off from the burn building training exercises will have to be sized so the run-off from the fire fighting activity will not impair the design function of the stormwater management facility.  (FCDSM 201.8 #11 and 204.1 #2)

3.      All new/expanding uses of the existing Range 82 operation to facilitate the public safety training facility will be required to meet State and local Stormwater Management/Best Management Practice (SWM/BMP) design criteria.

These will all be addressed during the site plan process.

Soils

Based on the Fauquier County Soil Survey, 71% of the site is rated “Not Suited” for general development using conventional septic tanks and drainfields; 29% of the site is rated “Poor.” The major limitations are depth to water table, depth to bedrock and shrink-swell potential. 18% of the site is mapped as hydric soils and 53% of the site is mapped as soil units with the potential for hydric soil inclusions. Hydric soils are indication of the possible presence of jurisdictional wetlands. The presence of jurisdictional wetlands will reduce the amount of area available for development. 16% of the site is mapped as soil units with a “Low” potential for shrink-swell; 29% “Moderate”; 39% “High”; and 15% “Very High.” For soils rated as moderate or higher, prior to issuance of a building permit, the soils will have to be tested to determine the severity of shrink-swell or foundations designed for shrink-swell soil conditions.

Noted, no action required.

VDOT

  1. The application does not appear to address the increased traffic generation to the site.

2.      The application is indicating that the site has an entrance that will not need to be upgraded, but that is not correct.  Although there is an approved site plan for an entrance that will be in conformance with our standards in the Minimum Standards of Entrances to State Highways, the entrance has not been constructed.  The entrance will need to be constructed as shown on the approved site plan.

In discussions with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the applicant, VDOT has determined that what is on the approved site plan will be adequate to accommodate up to 150 vehicle trips per day.  If additional upgrades are needed, they will be addressed with future site plans.

Health Department

Range 82 is operating with a temporary pump and haul to expire in August 2009. To expand this facility Range 82 will need to reassess the population they are to serve and have a new plan submitted to the Fauquier County Health Department. It will also be required that the new drainfield plan be installed prior to the facility operating.

The existing drainfield is permitted for 80 people.  Dominion Soil Science has investigated the site and found additional drainfield areas; however, at this time these areas have not been permitted by the Health Department.  The applicant states it is their intent, should these applications be approved, to permit the additional areas in conjunction with the site plan amendment that will be required.  Also any additional drainfields will be sized to accommodate the maximum allowable persons including a 200% reserve as required by code.

Planning Commission Action March 26, 2009:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at its work session where they voiced concerns regarding the number of ranges, hours of operation, sound, and details of the lease agreement.  A public hearing was held where eight people spoke in opposition of the request.  The speakers were concerned about noise and property values.  One petition was submitted in opposition of the request and several letters in opposition were received from members of Ebenezer Baptist Church.  These items are included as Attachment 11. The public hearing was closed.

Planning Commission Action April 30, 2009:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at its work session where several Commissioners reiterated their previous concerns regarding the location, number of ranges, hours of operation, sound, and details of the lease agreement.  The Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend denial of the applications.  It was stated that the site did not meet the guideline to efficiently and economically serve the greatest number of residents.  Furthermore, it was felt that the fire-training facility would put the County and citizens at unnecessary risk being located on leased land.  Overall, the Planning Commission did not believe this was a good location for the use.

Summary and Recommendation:

If the Board of Supervisors wishes to recommend approval of the applications, staff recommends doing so subject to the conditions of approval contained in the attached resolution.  The conditions of approval, as drafted, require an approved Lead Management Plan prior to commencement of any new activities on-site.   

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Conduct a public hearing and consider the attached resolution.

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

Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office
Department of Emergency Services
Commissioner of the Revenue
Area Residents and Businesses

 

Attachments: 

1.         Statement of Justification

2.         Statement From County Official Addressing Site Selection

3.         Map Showing 1 Mile Radius

4.         Statement From Engineer Addressing Site Selection

5.         Conceptual Development Plan Dated June 24, 2008

6.         ECS, Ltd. Report of Sound Study Dated March 24, 2005

7.         ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC Pre-Construction Sampling Results Dated September 25, 2008

8.         Applicant’s Response to Planning Commission Issues

9.         County Engineering Comments on Applicant’s Lead Management Plan

10.        Aerial Showing Shooting Location and Distance to Various Adjoining Properties

11.        Petition and Letters Received from Citizens

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