Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Carlton Hughes and Brenda Simpson


June 12, 2008


Staff Lead:


Cynthia Porter-Johnson, Planner

Community Development


Magisterial District: 


Cedar Run District




A Resolution to Approve a Waiver for a Right-of-Way Less Than Fifty Feet in Width (WAVR08-CR-047), Cedar Run District


Topic Description:


The owners/applicants are seeking for a waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.A.3, Limitations, which would allow a subdivision on a private street less than 50 feet in width. The applicants are proposing to divide a 13.5612-acre parcel into two lots of 4.4802 and 9.081 acres. The purpose for the proposed division is to create the 4.4802-acre parcel as a legal lot of record. The property fronts on Squires Lane, which is a private road that connects to Old Auburn Road (Route 670). The entire length of Squires Lane is less than 50 feet in width.

A subdivision potential letter request submitted for PIN #7903-96-5917 revealed that the 4.4802-acre parcel and a 9.081-acre parcel (PIN #7903-96-7882) were one legal lot of record. Although a boundary line adjustment had been completed between the two properties, a determination by the Zoning Administrator indicated that the plat recorded on May 6, 2005 is Void Ab Initio because the two parcels could not have been legally created through the boundary line adjustment process. Thus, the 4.4802-acre lot does not exist as a separate buildable lot under the Zoning and Subdivision regulations of Fauquier County. The Zoning Administrator further opined that the 4.4802-acre parcel could be created as a legal lot using the administrative division process. As a result, the owners are pursuing an administrative division to divide the parcels. In order to complete the administrative process, the right-of-way providing access to the property must be 50 feet in width. Squires Lane is less than 50 feet in width. Thus, the applicants will require a waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.A.3, which states that the right-of-way must be a minimum of fifty (50) feet in width.


This item was originally presented before the Planning Commission on February 28, 2008. On February 19, 2008, the Planning Office mailed letters to adjoining property owners advising them of the waiver that was being requested by owner/applicants Carlton Hughes and Brenda Simpson. The letter generated several comments from adjoining property owners. Some of the adjoining property owners were concerned about the waiver and the possible impacts to Squires Lane. They provided deeds, which indicated that Squires Lane is approximately 16 feet in width and not 50 feet wide as had been originally thought. Although there is a 50 foot wide easement across several of the properties along Squires Lane, it is limited to those property owners who signed a road maintenance agreement. It appears that all other owners of property who did not sign the road maintenance agreement are limited to the right of way for ingress and egress to access, which is 16 feet wide. In light of this new information, the owner/applicants’ counsel, James Downey requested that this item be postponed so that he could fully investigate the matter. 

Since the February meeting, this item has been postponed twice to allow the owner/applicants’ counsel additional time to work with the surveyor and the adjacent property owners. On May 6, 2008, Mr. Downey sent out a letter on behalf of Mrs. Simpson to the adjoining property owners on Squires Lane. The letter was sent in an effort to explain the complexity of the issue and to seek their support to allow Mrs. Simpson use of Squires Lane for ingress-egress to her lot. A copy of the letter is included as Attachment 4.

Attachment 1 is the proposed division showing access to the lots. The applicants’ Statement of Justification is included as Attachment 2. Attachment 3 is a determination provided by Kim Johnson, Zoning Administrator regarding the subject property. Attachment 4 is a letter sent to adjoining property owners on behalf of Mrs. Brenda Simpson.

Zoning/Acreage/Land Use:

The subject property is zoned Rural Residential (RR-2). Adjacent properties to the immediate north, south, east and west are zoned RR-2 and Rural Agriculture (RA).  


The property is located between Rogues Road (Route 602) and Old Auburn Road (Route 670), Cedar Run District.



Staff Analysis:

Section 7-302.1.A.3 requires a minimum width of 50 feet for a private street. However, the Board of Supervisors has the authority, in conjunction with a subdivision plan, to modify this limitation provided the applicant can show that:

1.  No other remedy is realistically feasible;

2.  Plausible alternatives have been exhausted;

3.  To not modify the applicable limitation would place an unreasonable restriction on the use of

      the property; and

4.  Properties through which access is planned will not be unreasonably affected.

Additional right-of-way for Squires Lane could not be secured. No other remedy is feasible. Without this waiver, the property cannot be used.

Planning Commission Action:

On May 29, 2008, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the Applicants’ waiver of Section 7-302.1.A.3 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the attached resolution.


1. Exhibit Plat

2. Statement of Justification

3. Lot Determination

4. Letter sent to Adjoining Property Owners


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