COUNTY OF FAUQUIER
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT

MARCH 28, 2002
  

SPECIAL EXCEPTION CASE #SE 02-S-16
MOUNTAIN HOME FARM CAMP
 

OWNERS:

Roger Lee Elgin III

2737 Landmark School Road

The Plains, VA  20198

 

 

APPLICANT:

Barbara Elgin

2737 Landmark School Road

The Plains, VA  20198

 

 

PROPOSAL:

Obtain Special Exception approvals under Section 5-505 of the Zoning Ordinance to allow for an outdoor educational use, as well as Section 5-907 to allow for an overnight tent campground in association with the school use.  Specifically, the applicant is proposing to offer weekly overnight educational camp activities for nine (9) weeks during the summer months.  The camp would be limited to 12 students in a weekly period from June 10th to August 16th.  There is no construction of permanent structures associated with this application.

 

 

LOCATION:

On the east side of Landmark School Road (Route 776) with a physical address of 2737 Landmark School Road.  The property is approximately one-half mile north of the intersection with Bull Run Mountain Road (Route 629).

 

 

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT:

Scott District

 

 

PROPERTY I.D.

NUMBER AND SIZE:

 

7012-34-8514-000, (91 acres)

 

 

CURRENT ZONING:

RA (Rural Agricultural)

 

 

EXISTING ZONING AND LAND USES OF ADJACENT PROPERTIES

N

RA (Rural Agricultural)

Residential/Agricultural

S

RA (Rural Agricultural)

Residential/Agricultural

E

RA (Rural Agricultural)

Residential/Agricultural

W

RA (Rural Agricultural)

Residential/Agricultural

       

 STAFF PLANNER:                 Brian Davis 

Proposal

The applicant is requesting special exception approval to conduct farm-related educational uses on this 91-acre farm parcel near the Bull Run Mountains in a remote area of northeastern Fauquier County.   

Under the applicant’s proposal, the farm camp would be conducted during nine weeks of the summer season, from June to August.  Each week, no more than 12 students would arrive on a Monday and depart on a Friday.  Daily activities would include participation in basic farm operations such as feeding and caring for animals, as well as hiking, wildflower identification and history lessons.  Camp participants would also participate in swimming and lacrosse activities. 

The overnight camping component of the proposal would involve camping in large tents, with 4 students per tent (a total of three tents) with one counselor for every four students.  The special exception plat identifies two camping areas, both near the center of the property and not visible from the public road, with little to no visual impacts on adjacent properties.  There is no construction of permanent structures proposed with this application. 

Meals would be catered and bottled water would be provided.  The applicant indicates that all Health Department requirements will be satisfied with regard to sewage facilities. 

STAFF AND AGENCY REVIEW 

Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance and other relevant policies and regulations.  An analysis of these referrals and the actual comments from the appropriate agencies are included as attachments to this report.

 Findings  

With the incorporation of the proposed development conditions found at Attachment 1, it is staff’s evaluation that the majority of this application is in substantial conformance with the Comprehensive Plan and the applicable Zoning Ordinance provisions.  However, staff has some concern over unresolved issues pertaining to sewage disposal and bathing facilities for the use. 

Staff recommends a 30-day postponement in order to allow the applicant additional time to work with the Health Department to address these issues. 

Attachments 

1.       Development Conditions

2.       Staff Analysis

3.       Applicant’s Statement of Justification

4.       Health Department Review

5.       County Engineer Review

6.   Map 1, Map 2, Map 3

ATTACHMENT 1

 

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT CONDITIONS 

SE02-2-16 

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. 7012-34-8514-000 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 and 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, 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 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.

ATTACHMENT 2 

STAFF ANALYSIS 

Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations.  Staff findings, comments and recommendations, as well as referral agency comments follow: 

1.       Comprehensive Plan

The subject property is designated for rural conservation uses in the Comprehensive Plan, and this application would not change the primary agricultural and conservation use of the land.

It is staff’s evaluation that the associated educational uses proposed for this property would not conflict with the rural character of the area and would also provide valuable learning opportunities for children in a natural setting.

2.       Zoning Ordinance


The proposed use includes components of both an outdoor technical school and a tent campground therefore must satisfy the standards of both uses. 

Section 5-505 addresses outdoor technical schools, and requires a five (5) acre minimum parcel size which is satisfied by this application.  This section also indicates that issues of safety, noise, vibration, dust and appearance shall be addressed by conditions as appropriate. 

Section 5-907 addresses tent campgrounds, with the following standards: 

Ø                  The minimum lot size requirement shall be twenty (20) acres. 

With 90 acres included in the subject property, this standard is satisfied.

 

Ø                  Travel trailers and other residential vehicles are not allowed. 

The proposal is for three tents only, and the approval would be conditioned for tents only; therefore this standard is satisfied. 

Ø                  The only permanent structure allowed for residential use will be occupied by the resident owner or manager. 

There are no permanent structures, residential or otherwise, associated with this request; therefore, this standard is satisfied. 

Ø                  The facility shall have direct access by means of a travel-way twenty (20) feet in width to a road currently maintained by the State. 

The current farm road serving this parcel is approximately 10-12 feet in width, based upon a staff visit to the site.  Staff would note that the campground portion of this application is not open to the general public, but only to a maximum of 12 students per week for nine weeks out of the year.  The majority of the traffic associated with the use will further limit impacts as the major trip generations will only occur on Mondays and Fridays, as opposed to all week long.  Staff is of the opinion that the provision of a commercial width entrance (30 ft.) would satisfy the intent of this standard by reducing the impact of potential traffic conflicts associated with this use. 

Ø                  No structure or campsite shall be located closer than 100 feet to any lot line. 

The two (2) camp areas depicted on the special exception plat are more than 100 feet from any lot line; therefore this standard is satisfied. 

Ø                  No permit shall be issued for such a use until the applicant has furnished evidence that the proposed development meets all applicable State and local health requirements. 

The Health Department has indicated that they have not received an application for services or a proposal from the applicant at this time.  Therefore, this standard has not yet been satisfied by the applicant. 

Ø                  Density shall not exceed one (1) campsite per acre. 

The three (3) proposed campsites do not exceed this density ratio on the 90 acre parcel; therefore, this standard is satisfied. 

3.       Health Department

The Health Department has indicated that while the applicant has contacted the office, there has been no submission of a proposal for the Health Department to review nor has there been an application submitted.  Staff recommends that action by the Planning Commission be delayed until the applicant has at least had the opportunity to submit more detailed materials for the Health Department to review. 

4.       County Engineer  

The County Engineer has expressed concern over the week-long nature of the proposed use from the perspective of first aid and safety issues.  Staff has prepared draft development conditions which should address these concerns.