Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

William G. Downey, Scott District Supervisor

June 14, 2007

Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 8-1500 to Authorize Additional Building Signage on Buildings Larger Than 100,000 Square Feet when Set Back from the Street with Special Exception Approval

Topic Description:

The purpose of this amendment is to allow large buildings additional signage and, when set back from the road, larger signs.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

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

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Summary Staff Report: 

This text amendment was initiated by the Board of Supervisors on March 8, 2007. 

The purpose of this amendment is to allow increased signage for very large buildings occupied by a single commercial enterprise.  At present, each commercial enterprise located within a building is limited to a maximum of 150 square feet of signage under the Zoning Ordinance.  While in most cases this is adequate for smaller tenants, it is inadequate for a large (big box) store, particularly when the building is significantly set back from the road.   

The current formula for calculating commercial signage is to allow two (2) square feet of sign area for each of the first fifty (50) linear feet of building frontage occupied by an individual business, plus one (1) square foot of sign area for each linear foot over fifty (50) linear feet of building frontage but, in no event, shall total sign area exceed 150 square feet.   









The proposed amendment allows additional signage up to the maximum established in the formula above if authorized by special exception for buildings larger than 100,000 square feet, provided that any sign larger than 150 square feet is set back from all streets at least one (1) foot for each one (1) square foot of sign. 

This amendment is intended to allow signage in keeping with the dimensions of a large building while protecting the aesthetic sensibilities of the community through the special exception process. 

On March 29, 2007, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing.  By unanimous vote, the Planning Commission held the hearing open and continued further consideration of the amendment until the meeting in April.  On April 26, 2007 the Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of an alternative text amendment.   The Commission had significant concerns about the amount of signage a building could potentially secure, and the very large size of individual signs that could result.   While today, the largest any single sign can be under the ordinance is 150 square feet, much larger bill-board type signs could be allowed under the revision.  Commission members felt that such large signs were not consistent with the character of Fauquier County.  However, they did agree that larger businesses might need more than 150 square feet of total signage.  The Commission’s proposed language increases total signage possible from 150 square feet to 500 square feet for big box uses, with no individual building face or individual sign having more than 150 square feet.  

The originally proposed Board of Supervisors' language is provided as Attachment 1.  The Planning Commission’s alternative language is provided in Attachment 2Alternative language discussed at the Board of Supervisor June 14 work session is provided as Attachment 3.


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

Department of Economic Development

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