Meeting Date:

Harry Atherton, Marshall District Supervisor

July 15, 2002

Staff Lead:



Frederick P.D. Carr, Director

Community Development

Topic: Text Amendment, Subdivision Ordinance, Section 3-2(A)2, Regarding Administrative           Subdivisions



The proposed change would reduce the number of administrative cuts from three to two, including the remaining residue lot.  Such a change applies to all Zoning Ordinance district categories.  Any further subdivision would require a preliminary subdivision, large lot (50 acres or greater), or a family division.  The proposed revision is detailed in the Requested Action and Analysis sections below.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Adopt Subdivision Ordinance text amendment as reflected in either Attachments 1 or 2.  Attachment 1 reduces the number of administrative divisions allowed for all zoning districts; while Attachment 2 restricts the change to just the Rural Agriculture (RA), Rural Conservation (RC) and Rural Residential (RR-2) zoning districts.  It is also recommended that the text amendment have an effective date clause, which allows any administrative subdivision filed prior to ordinance adoption to be subject to the requirements at the time of their official filing.  Official filing means that the application has been accepted for review and approval processing, and has met the requisite technical submission requirements.

The Planning Commission conducted its public hearing on this amendment on June 25th, and recommended in a 4 to 1 vote adoption of the subdivision text amendment reflected in Attachment 1.




Administrative subdivisions have been permitted since 1968 with the enactment of the Subdivision Ordinance for all zoning district categories.  The Zoning Ordinance’s sliding scale provisions for RA and RC Districts went into affect in 1986.  At that time, it was established that the May 9, 1968 enactment date of the Subdivision Ordinance was the key date for identifying the number of administrative cuts available for any designated parcel of record in Fauquier County.   In addition, the residential density for RA and RC parcels is based on the parent parcel of record’s size as of May 21, 1981.

The proposed change still permits administrative subdivision cuts in all zoning district categories (residential and non-residential), but it restricts that division to one, plus the residue, if none have been completed since the referenced 1968 date (refer to Attachment 1).  This proposal represents the text amendment submitted to the Planning Commission for public hearing and comment. Note that the current provision allows three lots, which includes the residue; therefore this revision reduces the administrative division by one lot.  Note that the administrative practice for RA and RC properties has been that, when the residue parcel is over fifty (50) acres, it does not count as one of the three administrative divisions. 

Attachment 2 proposes to change the number of authorized administrative cuts in just the RA, RC and RR-2 (Rural Residential) districts, while the number of administrative subdivision cuts for all other zoning districts remains unchanged. 

The proposed change will allow the County to encourage more effective management and protection of agricultural lands, steep slopes, and other key environmental resources contained in the Rural Agriculture (RA) and Rural Conservation (RC) and other zoning district classifications, and limit the number administrative divisions, which are not subject to stormwater, erosion and sediment control management and other engineering requirements, and do not require public streets in rural and service district areas. 

From the staff’s perspective, the principal focus of the amendment should be in the rural areas (e.g., the RA, RC, and RR-2).  As a result of that emphasis, the Board of Supervisors may want to consider limiting this change to only the RA, RC and RR-2 districts, which is reflected in Attachment 2.  As currently proposed through the Board of Supervisors’ referral, the proposed amendment affects all existing residential and non-residential Zoning District categories, and is represented as Attachment 1.  This text amendment does not affect family transfer divisions or the preliminary subdivision process available to property owners.

The Planning Commission requested that its June 27th public hearing comments for this proposed text amendment be included for Board of Supervisors’ reference.  The rough draft minutes for portion of the public hearing are included as Attachment 4.


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


Property Owners

Community Development


Attachment 1:   Ordinance for the Subdivision Text Amendment Regarding Administrative Subdivisions

(Applies to all Zoning Districts)

Attachment 2:   Ordinance for the Subdivision Text Amendment Regarding Administrative Subdivisions

(Applies to Only RA , RC and RR-2 Districts)

Attachment 3:   Resolution for Denial of the Text Amendment Regarding Administrative Subdivisions

Attachment 4:  Rough Draft Minutes for the Planning Commission June 25, 2002 Public Hearing