Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Planning Commission


August 11, 2005

Staff Lead:


W. Todd Benson, Assistant Zoning Administrator



Community Development





A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Table 1 of Article 9 and Sections 9-701 through 9-705 to Delete Current Noise Standards and Replace with New Noise Standards


Topic Description:


The proposed text amendment would delete current noise standards based upon decibel levels and replace them with new noise standards principally based upon qualitative standards.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Hold a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached Ordinance.

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Summary Staff Report:


During a November 2004 work session on noise by the Planning Commission, changes to the noise ordinance were discussed. In short, the Planning Commission was concerned that the current noise regulations, based upon permitted decibel levels, were unworkable. Quite simply, the Fauquier County zoning staff has neither the equipment nor the expertise to measure decibel levels based upon octave ban frequencies as set forth in the existing Zoning Ordinance.


The Planning Commission directed staff to place a noise ordinance text amendment on the Planning Commissionís agenda at the first possible date. The draft ordinance that resulted was almost verbatim the County Code Noise Ordinance found at Fauquier County Code, Chapter 13.5.  Principal differences between the County Code and the proposed zoning text amendment are underlined.


The proposed amendment deletes the current zoning ordinance noise language which is based upon decibels and, except in one instance, substitutes qualitative standards.  This text amendment was initiated by the Planning Commission on January 27, 2005.  On February 17, 2005, the Planning Commission held a public hearing and kept open the public comment period.  On April 26, 2005, the Planning Commission held a work session and requested another public hearing for their May meeting.  Another public hearing was held on May 26, 2005.  Following the hearing, the Planning Commission deferred action until its meeting in June. On June 30, 2005, the attached Ordinance was unanimously recommended to the Board of Supervisors.  Throughout the lengthy process, various changes were made in response to public comments.

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

Economic Development Office