AGENDA REQUEST

Owners/Applicants:

     Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Flint Hill Farm, LLC

 

August 10, 2006

Staff Lead:

 Department:

Holly Meade, Senior Planner

Community Development

 

Magisterial District:

PIN:

Marshall

  6061-05-8596-000

 

Topic:  

A Resolution to Affirm the Decision of the Planning Commission to Deny Chattin’s Run South Subdivision Preliminary Plat PPLT06-MA-022 Pursuant to Zoning Ordinance Section 2-406(6), Marshall District

 

Topic Description:

The applicant sought Preliminary Plat approval to divide one parcel of approximately 186.118 acres into seven (7) single-family residential lots ranging in size from ±3.12 to ±5.21 acres, with a non-common open space lot of 158.70 acres.  

In April, 2006, at the Planning Commission’s request, the applicant agreed to consider reconfiguration of the subdivision to reduce Lost Corner Road impacts and to address many of the neighbors’ concerns regarding the cluster lay-out, run-off, and preserving open space as required by the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.  At this time, a revised Preliminary Plat placing lots in a cluster off of Lost Corner Road has not been submitted.  The Planning Commission offered to sponsor a Special Exception request to allow access to the lots from an existing private street with this scenario. 

Article 2-406(5)(A) of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance addresses open space requirements for subdivisions in Rural Agricultural (RA) and Rural Conservation (RC) zoning districts.  The Zoning Ordinance states that the proposed development shall not result in the unnecessary loss or degradation of natural resources, including and not limited to prime agricultural and forestal lands; environmentally sensitive areas such as floodplains, steep slopes, rock outcrops and seasonally wet areas; predominant or unusual geologic features such as mountain peaks, caverns, gorges; areas critical to the existence of important flora or fauna.  The Zoning Ordinance further states that the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors shall take into account any scenic and/or historic resources that would be impacted by the development and may require that adverse impacts be mitigated, pursuant to Zoning Ordinance Section 2-406(5)(B).

The applicant asserts that with the proposed design they have taken every step to mitigate the visual impacts associated with the development.  They contend that the proposed open space for Chattin’s Run South responds to the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas, historic resources, and natural resources as required by the Zoning Ordinance. 

Staff has made a site visit to the property to meet with neighbors concerned about the pending subdivision.  Two major concerns are the visual and historical impacts the subdivision could create.  This property, as well as adjoining property owned by Flint Hill Farm, LLC, holds historical significance with regard to the Civil War – much of the property was once owned by George Washington and General George McClellan was relieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac on this farm. The Planning Commission had to decide if the applicant was addressing the open space requirements as required by the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance. 

Numerous letters were received from adjoining property owners opposed to the Preliminary Plat proposal and are included as Attachment 1.  Not only are the neighbors concerned with the visual and historical impacts of the proposed subdivision, but they are concerned about the safety of the road, run-off, flooding, construction traffic, and definition of a true “cluster” subdivision.  The applicant did meet with the neighbors recently to present a type of modified large lot layout that would have required a Special Exception for a reduction in open space.  The applicant was proposing four lots of approximately 40 acres in size using the existing private road.  The applicant stated the neighbors were in agreement with this layout; however, a letter was received from several of the neighbors opposing the revised ±40-acre lot layout. 

On June 29, 2006, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the Preliminary Plat.  Section 15.2-2286(12) of the Code of Virginia provides that “a locality may, at its option, provide in its zoning or subdivision ordinance standards, conditions and criteria for clustering of single-family dwellings and the preservation of open space developments. In establishing such standards, conditions and criteria, the governing body may, at its discretion, include any provisions it determines appropriate to ensure quality development, preservation of open space and compliance with its comprehensive plan and land use ordinances” which is one of the reasons cited by the Planning Commission in its decision to deny the Plat.  The County has adopted Zoning Ordinance, Comprehensive Plan and Subdivision Ordinance provisions to ensure such quality development. The recommended reasons for denial and means to correct the deficiencies are included in the appeal package and associated exhibits as Attachment 2.

Since that time, Flint Hill Partners, LLC (“Flint Hill”), by counsel, pursuant to Zoning Ordinance Section 2-406(6), has filed an appeal of the disapproval of a preliminary subdivision plat by the Planning Commission.  With this appeal the Board of Supervisors must decide whether the Planning Commission decision was correct, and may reverse or uphold the decision. 

 

Zoning/Acreage/Land Use:

The property, as well as surrounding properties, is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA).  In addition, most of the surrounding property is either in an Agricultural and Forestal District, under a Conservation easement, or both.

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the attached resolution.

 

Location:

The property is located north of Lost Corner Road (Route 624) outside of Rectortown, Marshall Magisterial District.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ATTACHMENTS:

1.      Letters from adjoining property owners

2.      Appeal documents

3.      Applicable Sections of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan  

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