PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owners/Applicants:

 Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Richard and Roxane Graham

 

June 14, 2007

Staff Lead:

Department:

Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator

 

Community Development

 

Magisterial District:

PIN:

Marshall

 

6966-35-2695; 6966-24-8934; &
6966-35-0268

Topic:

An Ordinance to Approve the 16th Addition to the Marshall/Warrenton Agricultural and Forestal District

 

Topic Description:

The applicants are requesting three (3) parcels totaling 31.66 acres be added to the Marshall/Warrenton Agricultural and Forestal District (hereinafter “the District”). 

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

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

 

Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee and Planning Commission Recommendation:

The Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Board and the Planning Commission have both met to review this 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 the Commission recommended to deny this addition, unless the property owners boundary line adjust the two larger parcels together or boundary line adjust all three parcels together.

 

Staff Analysis:

 

Overview

Each year, landowners may file by February 1st to create a new Agricultural and Forestal District or to add parcels to any existing Agricultural and Forestal District and the Board considers these applications for new districts and additions. 

The Marshall/Warrenton Agricultural and Forestal District currently contains 169 parcels totaling 12,510.787 acres and will run until June 30, 2012.

Criteria for Evaluating Applications

The Code of Virginia also establishes standards to be considered in determining whether or not to include land in an agricultural and forestal district.  These broad standards include:

  • The agricultural and forestal significance of the land and adjacent land;
  • The presence of any significant agricultural or forestal lands within the district or adjacent areas that are not now in active agricultural or forestal production;
  • The nature and extent of land uses other than active farming or forestry within the district and in adjacent areas;
  • Local development patterns and needs;
  • The comprehensive plan and, if applicable, the zoning regulations;
  • The environmental benefits of retaining the lands in agricultural and forestal uses; and
  • Any other relevant matters.

The Code further states that “in judging the agricultural and forestal significance of land . . . soil, climate, topography, other natural factors, markets for agricultural and forestal products, the extent and nature of farm structures, the present status of agriculture and forestry, anticipated trends in agricultural economic conditions and such other factors as may be relevant” may be considered.

On March 8, 2007, the Board of Supervisors revised the policy on parcels 25 acres or smaller in agricultural and forestal districts.  The current policy conditions are:

1.    No parcel less than five (5) acres in size shall be added to an agricultural and forestal district. 

2.    Parcels from five (5) acres to 25 acres in size may be included in the agricultural and forestal district, provided that:

a.       The parcel is under a perpetual conservation or open space easement held for public benefit.

      or

b.      The parcel is under the same or family ownership as other parcels which together comprise a contiguous tract of at least 25 acres.  Such groups of parcels shall be evaluated for inclusion in the District under the same criteria established for parcels 25 acres or greater in size.

Property

The applicants have requested that three parcels totaling 31.66 acres be added to the District.  The property is located on Carters Run Road in Marshall.  The applicants have indicated that the property is operated by the owners as a part-time farm, producing orchids and honey valued at several hundred dollars in the last year.  Cattle (2) are also located on the property for personal use.  The applicant also indicated that they are in the process of replanting trees (oaks and persimmons) for future lumber and fruit crops. 

Overview of Property

The applicants applied last year to be added to the District but were denied because each of the parcels proposed to be included in the District were less than 25 acres in size, they were subject to the Board of Supervisors’ 1990 policy requiring that the parcels be either:  A) in an open space easement or B) part of a working farm under common ownership, the remainder of which is in or being added to the District.  There was no open space easement on any of the parcels and the properties did not qualify for inclusion in the District under the 1990 Board policy due to the limited level of agricultural activity that occurred on the property. 

Two of these three adjoining parcels are entirely wooded and the third is partially wooded.  There is limited floodplain along the rear of the properties.

The partially wooded parcel contains 11.0 acres and is the only parcel with any structures, to include, according to Commission of Revenue records, a house, two sheds (480 sq.ft. and 120 sq.ft.), a barn (1024 sq.ft.) and a small greenhouse (334 sq.ft.).    The Fauquier County Soil Survey shows the property to predominantly have the following soil types:

Soil Type

Soil Name

Characteristics

Potential

Agricultural Uses

53C 

Glenelg loan soil

Very deep, well drained, micaceous, dark brown loamy soil; high erosion hazard; good development potential

Secondary Cropland

53D

Glenelg loam soil

Very deep, well drained, micaceous, yellowish-red loamy soils; very high erosion hazard; fair to marginal development potential

Prime Pasture

125D

Hazel very stony loam; rocky

Moderately deep, excessively drained, light yellowish brown loamy soils on narrow summits and moderately steep backslopes; high erosion hazard; poor development potential

Secondary Pasture

2A

Codorus loam soil; frequently flooded

Very deep, moderately well drained yellowish loamy brown soils with intermittent high water tables on floodplains; slight erosion hazard; not suited for development

Secondary Cropland

 

Staff Recommendation

The application submitted meets Condition 2b of the revised BOS policy on parcels 25 acres or smaller in agricultural and forestal districts.  Condition 2b states: 

The parcel is under the same or family ownership as other parcels which together comprise a contiguous tract of at least 25 acres.  Such groups of parcels shall be evaluated for inclusion in the district under the same criteria established for parcels 25 acres or greater in size.

The parcels together total 31.66 acres and are almost entirely surrounded by woods.  Allowing the parcels in the District would be in accordance with the County’s policy on preserving agricultural and forestal lands.  Therefore, staff recommends including the parcels in the District. 

If the Board recommends the parcel be included in the District, staff recommends that they be subject to the standard conditions.

 

Financial Impact Analysis:

None conducted.

 

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

Commissioner of the Revenue
Agricultural Development Office

Attachments:

1.      Copy of Application

2.      Fauquier County GIS Map of Property

3.      Ordinance to Approve

4.      Resolution to Deny

Back to Agenda...