PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owners/Applicants:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Various – See Attachment 1

July 13, 2006

Staff Lead:

Department: 

Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator

Community Development

Topic: 

 An Ordinance to Approve the Third Renewal of the Routts Hill Agricultural and Forestal District

Topic Description:

The Routts Hill Agricultural and Forestal District was created in 1983. At its inception, 20 parcels totaling 1,048.07 acres were included in the District. The District has been renewed twice, in 1991 and in 1999. The District now consists of 13 parcels totaling 736.09 acres (see Attachment 2) and has an expiration date of June 18, 2007.  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 June 18, 2007 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.

In addition, in 1990, the Board of Supervisors adopted a policy that states that no parcel less than 25 acres in size will be permitted within an agricultural and forestal district unless:

·        The subject property is under an open space easement; and/or

·        The subject property is part of a working farm and under the same ownership, or family ownership, of other lands which are currently a working farm and are in or being added to an agricultural and forestal district.

In conjunction with this policy, “Working Farm” has been defined to mean any operation actively devoted to the bona fide production of crops, or animals, or fowl, including but not limited to the production of fruits and vegetables of all kinds; meat, dairy, and poultry products; nuts, tobacco, nursery and floral product; and the production and harvest of products from silvicultural activity.

Because of the Board Policy, any parcel less than 25 acres will automatically be removed from the districts being renewed unless the landowner specifically requests in writing that the parcel remain in the district and demonstrates compliance with the Board of Supervisor Policy for parcels less than 25 acres. 

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

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

Of the 13 total parcels, 10 parcels are 25 acres or greater.  As of June 30, 2006, no parcels have been withdrawn at the request of the owners.

Of the 13 total parcels, 3 are less than 25 acres. As of June 30, 2006, the owners of one of these parcels have requested to remain in the District.

1.   Larry & Lorene Payne, PIN #6971-01-9886, 15.35 acres.  According to the owner, the smaller parcel is used in conjunction with a larger working farm (cattle and hay) parcel, PIN #6971-21-0253, which contains 60.22 acres and which is in the District.  Therefore it appears to meet the Board of Supervisors’ policy.  Staff recommends its inclusion in the District and the Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee and Planning Commission concurred (see Attachment 3).

See Attachment 1 for a list of all parcels currently in the District.  Attachment 1 provides information on those parcels that are recommended to remain in the District and those recommended to be removed from the District based on policy and information provided by parcel owners.

Standard Conditions

Recently approved districts have been subject to the following conditions:

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 any portion of a parcel less than 25 acres is sold, boundary line adjusted or divided then the entire parcel shall automatically be removed from the District.

6.      If any portion of a parcel greater than 25 acres is sold, boundary line adjusted or divided to below 25 acres then the portion less than 25 acres shall automatically be removed from the District.

Staff Recommendations

Staff recommends renewal of the District to include the parcels listed in the attached Ordinance, subject to the standard conditions, with an expiration date of June 30, 2015.

 

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.                  Requests to Remain in the District Forms Received

 

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