PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owners/Applicants:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Various – See Attachment 1

June 14, 2007

Staff Lead:

Department: 

Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator

Community Development

Topic: 

An Ordinance to Approve the 2nd Renewal of the Thumb Run Agricultural and Forestal District

Topic Description:

The Thumb Run Agricultural and Forestal District (hereinafter, “the District) was created in 1992. At its inception, one (1) parcel totaling 339.96 acres was included in the District. The District has been renewed once, in 2000. The District now consists of 20 parcels totaling 862.7494 acres. The District expires on July 7, 2008. The Department of Community Development is in the process of realigning the terms for agricultural and forestal districts so that the renewal process can occur at the same time each year. If renewed, this District would take effect July 7, 2008 and expire June 30, 2015.

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

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

 

Financial Impacts Analysis:

None conducted

Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee and Planning Commission Recommendation:

 

The Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee and Planning Commission have both met to review this renewal of 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 unanimously recommended that the District be renewed subject to the standard conditions recommended by staff.

 

Staff Analysis:

 

Renewal Process

Typically, Agricultural and Forestal Districts in Fauquier County are approved for a term of eight years. The Department of Community Development is in the process of realigning the terms for Agricultural and Forestal Districts so that the renewal process can occur once a year, at the same time each year; therefore, proposed terms for the renewals may be slightly more or less than eight years. 

During the renewal process, any landowner with property in the District may automatically withdraw their land by submitting a written request during the renewal process, with the withdrawal becoming effective upon the expiration date of the current term of the district.  In addition, any landowner with qualifying lands may apply to add their property to a District being renewed throughout the renewal process.

Letters have been sent by the County to all owners of property in the District notifying them of the renewal process and their options relative to the renewal.  

Board of Supervisors’ Revised Policy on Parcels 25 Acres or Smaller

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.

Requests for Withdrawals, Exceptions to the 25 Acre Rule and Additions

Of the total 20 parcels in the District, 16 parcels are 25 acres or greater.  As of June 12, 2007, six (6) parcels have been withdrawn at the request of the owners.

Of the 20 parcels, four (4) parcels are less than 25 acres. As of June 12, 2007, four (4) parcels have been withdrawn at the request of the owners.

Of the 20 parcels, no parcel is less than five (5) acres.

See Attachment 1 for a list of specific parcels.

As of June 12, 2007, no requests for additions have been received for this District.

Existing Conditions

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

1.      That pursuant to Title 15.2, Chapter 43, Section 15.2-4312 (b) of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance shall apply except as modified below. The 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 permit except that farming uses and single-family dwellings on a legally recorded parcel of record shall be permitted by right.

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

c.       No special exception permit 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 Article 4 of Section 58.1-3229 et seq. of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1 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 15.2-4314 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 15.2-4314 of the Code of Virginia.

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 smaller than 25 acres is sold, it is to be withdrawn from the District

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

Staff Recommendations

In order to bring the second renewal of the Thumb Run Agricultural and Forestal District into conformance with the above-referenced Board of Supervisors’ policy, staff recommends that all parcels listed on Attachment 1, Part A, be approved for renewal into the Thumb Run Agricultural and Forestal District for another term, with an expiration date of June 30, 2015, with the following conditions placed on all parcels:

1.      That pursuant to Title 15.2, Chapter 43, Section 15.2-4312 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 shall require a special exception permit except for agricultural or forestal production and construction of dwellings for persons who earn a substantial part of their livelihood from a farm operation on the property or for members of their immediate family.

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

c.       No special exception permit 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 Article 4 of Section 58.1-3229 et seq. of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1 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 15.2-4314 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 15.2-4311 of the Code of Virginia.

5.      If a parcel is divided or boundary line adjusted to below 5 acres, it shall be removed from the District.

Staff further recommends that all parcels listed on Attachment 1, Part D, be excluded from the renewal of the Thumb Run Agricultural and Forestal District unless written request from the property owner is received, demonstrating that the parcel meets one of the criteria outlined in the Board of Supervisor’s March 2007 revised policy statement. These written statements should be received prior to the Board of Supervisors’ action at the June 14, 2007, public hearing.  There are no parcels in the District smaller than five (5) acres.

 

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

Commissioner of the Revenue

Agricultural Development Office

 

Attachments:

1.                  List of Parcels in District with Status

2.                  Fauquier County GIS Map of District

3.                  Request to Withdraw from District

 

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