Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Planning Commission


July 14, 2005

Staff Lead:



W. Todd Benson, Assistant Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Sections 3-316 and 5-1704 to Allow, in the RA, RC, I-1 and I-2 Zoning Districts, Storage of up to 100 Pounds of Explosives Pursuant to an Administrative Permit and Greater Amounts Subject to a Special Exception, to Clarify that Certain Ammunition is Not Subject to Regulation, and to Specify Required Magazines and Setbacks


Topic Description:


The amendment would allow storage of up to 100 pounds of explosives pursuant to an administrative permit, and greater amounts subject to special exception approval.  It also clarifies that certain ammunition is not subject to regulation.


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:


An enforcement issue caused the Zoning Office to review County regulations regarding the storage of explosives.  Specifically, the County has a resident who trains dogs to sniff explosives. To do so, he must store explosives for training purposes. In the course of an investigation of this individual, it became clear that the County’s Ordinance is outdated and should be modified to permit this important business to continue, by extension of storage into RC zones. Based upon this case, the Zoning Staff recommends amending the County Zoning Ordinance as follows:


 5-1704 Additional Standards for Explosives Storage in the RA, RC, I-1 and I-2

Zoning Districts


1.      Except as modified below, the County adopts and incorporates herein the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code as it relates to the storage of explosives and fireworks.


2.      Approval Process


a.      Storage of explosives in amounts under 100 pounds may be authorized by an Administrative Special Permit.


1)      Prior to issuing a permit, the Zoning Administrator shall seek the advice and counsel of the Fire Marshal and the Sheriff.


2)      No permit shall be issued for storage of high explosives or low explosives in quantities of fifty pounds or more, unless the applicant is licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Fauquier County Fire Marshal.


b.      Storage of explosives in amounts greater that 100 pounds shall be authorized by special exception.


c.       Neither a permit nor a special exception is required to store small arms ammunition, the possession and storage of not more than fifteen pounds of commercially manufactured sporting black powder, twenty pounds of smokeless powder, or under 10,000 small arms primers for hand loading of small arms  ammunition for personal consumption.


d.      Neither a permit nor a special exception is needed to store ammunition for retail sale by a licensed retailer of firearms with a fixed place of business in the County other than his home.  Note:  After the final action of the Planning Commission, Clark Brothers requested that the following be inserted after the word “ammunition”:  “low explosives, black powder, and ammunition components”.  Staff concurs with this addition.


3.   All high explosives and low explosives in quantities of fifty pounds or more shall be stored in Type 1 or Type 2 magazines.


4.1. Magazine setbacks from all property lines shall be in a minimum of that distance required to unbarricaded public highways with traffic volume less than 3,000 vehicles per day buildings as set forth in the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code. by the Rules and Regulations Governing Manufacture, Storage, Handling, Use and Sale of Explosives as adopted by The Safety and Health Codes Commission of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


52. Storage must be in compliance with all applicable Federal and State regulations.


63. Applicant Any person storing any high explosive or low explosives in quantities of fifty pounds or more shall file with the Board of Supervisors annually a Certificate of Insurance which shows that the applicant has adequate liability insurance which liability insurance shall in no case be less than One Million ($1,000,000.00) Dollars combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage.


4. Class I magazines shall be used for the storage of explosives when quantities are in excess of fifty (50) pounds of explosive material.


5. Class II magazines may be used for temporary storage of less than fifty (50) pounds of explosives at the site of blasting operations or where such amount constitutes not more than one day's supply for use in current operations. In no case shall a Class II magazine be

used for overnight storage.


7.  An eight (8) foot chain link fence, or a six (6) foot chain link fence with three (3) strands of barbed wire around the top, shall be provided on all four sides of a Class Type I magazine, so as to fully encircle a Class I magazine installation. The fence shall have a gate equipped with case-hardened locks and clasps.


8.  Applicant Any person storing any high explosive or low explosives in quantities of fifty pounds or more shall be required to obtain an annual inspection by the Fauquier County Fire Marshal and shall file annually with the Zoning Administrator a copy of the permit issued by the Fauquier County Fire Marshal as well as the permit issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.


The Planning Commission unanimously initiated this amendment on April 26, 2005; conducted the public hearing on May 26, 2005 and unanimously forwarded it to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation that the text amendment be adopted.

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

Department of Economic Development

Sheriff’s Office

Emergency Services



Proposed Text Amendment