FAX (540)341-3444


DATE:                        April 19, 2002 

TO:                 Members, Planning Commission 

FROM:            Brian K. Davis, Senior Planner 

RE:                  #SE 02-SR-16, Mountain Home Farm Camp (Roger Elgin Property) 


The applicant is requesting special exception approval to establish an outdoor technical school and associated tent campground in the Rural Agricultural zoning district.  

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on this case on March 28, 2002, and voted to defer decision for 30 days to allow for a site visit and for further refinement of the proposal to address concerns raised in the original staff report. 


The primary issue of concern identified in staff’s initial review of this application was the lack of specific information with regards to Health Department provisions necessary for week-long camping activities.   

The applicant was originally proposing no new construction associated with this request; however, the Health Department has determined that a bath house will be required for shower and rest room facilities.  To serve this facility, a new drainfield and well will also need to be located.  The applicant has filed the necessary applications with the Health Department to locate the required well and drainfield, and has also amended the special exception plat to indicate the proposed locations of the bath house structure and camp area. 

County staff has also received a communication from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) with respect to the applicant’s proposal because the property is in a deed-restricted easement with the VOF.  It is the opinion of the VOF that the required bath house must either be placed in an existing building, or offers a pool house option that would also function as the pool house for the property owners in the vicinity of the swimming pool.  Based upon the applicant’s revised special exception plat, it appears as if the applicant is exploring the latter option. 

Staff has also added additional conditions to address the marking of the property lines and the applicant obtaining the requisite approvals and licenses to operate a camp.



Unless the applicant requests an additional postponement, the Planning Commission must take action at this meeting.  Staff would have a greater level of comfort if the Health Department process were in a more advanced stage and if there were more specifics with the regard to the proposed building.  However, the draft conditions proposed at this time should address such concerns.  The applicant must be made aware that some of these conditions will make it difficult for operations to begin in the summer of 2002.  Should the Planning Commission choose to forward the application with an approval recommendation, such action should be subject to the conditions at Attachment 1. 

A denial recommendation would still allow the application to advance to the Board of Supervisors and afford the applicant additional time to further refine the application. 



1.       Revised Conditions of Approval

2.       Revised Special Exception Plat

3.       Letter from Virginia Outdoor Foundation

4.       Letter from Applicant’s Attorney Regarding Liability Issues





March 28, 2002



If it is the intent of the Fauquier County Planning Commission to recommend approval of SE02-S-16 located on Parcel I.D. 7012-34-8514 for an outdoor technical school and tent campground activities under the provisions of Sects. 5-505 and 5-907 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance, the staff recommends that the Planning Commission recommend approval subject to the following development conditions:

1.         The special exception is granted for an runs with the land indicated in this application and is not transferable to other land.

2.         This special exception is granted only for the purpose(s), structure(s) and/or uses indicated on the special exception plat revised April 16, 2002, as qualified by these development conditions.

3.         This special exception is subject to the provisions of Article 12 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance, Site Plans, as may be determined by the Fauquier County Department of Community Development.  Any site plan submitted pursuant to this special exception shall be in substantial conformance with the special exception plat revised April 16, 2002, and these conditions.

4.         This special exception shall be granted for a period of three years from the date of approval and must be renewed by the Board of Supervisors in accordance with the provisions of Section 5-013 of the Zoning Ordinance.

5.         There shall be no subdivision of the subject property without amendment to the special exception.

6.         There shall be no new permanent structures constructed in association with this use without amendment to the special exception approval.

7.         The proposed principal entrance to the site from Route 776 shall be upgraded to include a wider entrance (30-foot minimum) to accommodate two-way traffic at the site entrance.  Such improvements shall be indicated on the site plan and constructed to VDOT standards.

8.         The school and camp shall operate only between the months of June through August of each calendar year.  The days of operation shall be Monday through Friday, with no weekend activities permitted.  Activities, exclusive of camping shall be limited to the hours of 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

9.         The weekly attendance for the use shall not exceed 12 students.

10.        The applicant shall submit to the Zoning Administrator, on an annual basis, a summary of attendance records for the events to ensure that attendance limitations are maintained.

11.        No campsite shall be closer than 100 feet from any lot line.

12.        All parking must be provided on site, and shall be no closer than 100 feet from any adjacent property.

13.        All grass areas used for parking shall be mowed and maintained so as to minimize the risk of vehicle and field fires.

14.            Restroom and shower/bathing facilities shall be provided in accordance with Health Department regulations.  Such approval shall be evidenced prior to site plan approval.

15.        All food operations shall be in accordance with Health Department regulations and written evidence of such approval shall be provided to the County prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for the use.

16.        In no event shall fireworks, hot-air balloons or helicopters be used in association with this use.

17.        The applicant shall require its employees and all invitees to strictly comply with State burning laws and copies of such laws shall be posted on site.

18.        There shall be no outdoor music or amplified sound associated with this use.

19.        All lighting shall be in conformance with the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance and positioned downward, inward and shielded to eliminate glare from all adjacent properties.

20.        Fire extinguishers meeting State and Federal standards shall be provided at all events.

21.        All perimeters of the subject property shall be marked with posts and signage at 100-yard intervals, with inward facing signs indicating that campers are not permitted beyond the property boundaries.

22.       Evidence of all required State and Local licenses to operate an overnight camp in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall be provided to the Zoning Administrator prior to site plan approval.

23.       The applicant shall provide at least one staff member on site at all times that the camp is in operation with basic first aid training to include cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.