Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Planning Commission


August 11, 2005

Staff Lead:



Frederick P.D. Carr, Director


Community Development



A Resolution Adopting a Proposed Text Amendment to Chapter 10 – Transportation of the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan


Topic Description:


The purposes of the text amendment to Chapter 10 of the Comprehensive Plan are three-fold: 


1.      To integrate the Board of Supervisors adopted transportation elements for all nine designated Service Districts; 


2.      To provide expanded direction and guidelines regarding roadways, bike paths, airport access and future Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Service; and


3.      To serve as the staging and blueprint for transportation planning and implementation countywide.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Consider adopting the attached resolution.


Financial Impact Analysis:




Updated Report and Proposed Revisions:


The Board of Supervisors postponed action on the draft plan until its August meeting, with refined text requested for VRE, express bus service and language regarding the location of Route 28 widening improvements (3 and 4-lane) in the Bealeton area.


The following recommended text refinements are suggested to meet the latter Board of Supervisor directions:


1.      Stage 2 Paragraph (Page 16): 


Stage 2:  This stage, shown on Map 10.3b, builds upon Stage 1.  Here Fauquier County must actively reserve designated existing and new roadway corridors identified in the Comprehensive Plan through land use application decisions and other actions. Examples of a few principal efforts are focused on the:  (1) widening of U.S. 15/29 (6-lanes), Route 28 (widening to 3 or 4-lanes between its eastern intersection in Bealeton with Route 17 on to its intersection with U.S. 15/29 between its intersection with Route 17 and U.S. Route 15/29);  (2) acquisition or dedication of right-of-way for the limited access Bealeton Connector (this action allows some rights-of-way (r-o-w) to be secured from developer applicants for the construction of future roads); and (4) a freeway alignment study for the airport connector to the Route 17/Bealeton Connector intersection.


2.      Future Virginia Railway Express and Express Bus Service (Pages 17 and 23):


Future rail service and express bus to rail service is targeted for the Fauquier County area. is generally targeted for 2015.  This Both services is are considered to be a valid assumptions for planning purposes in the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Strategic Plan (July 14, 2003).  VRE ridership is growing at a rate of 18% per year.  This strategic plan indicates a support for any efforts that merge the VRE system with the MARC system in Maryland.  Such an action would provide MARC rail service to Union Station/Alexandria and VRE service would extend to Rockville, Maryland.


The first series of steps over the next five years are to identify costs, ridership fees and supplemental methods to cover expenses, identification of accessible pick-up points, and then implementation of an express bus service on a trial basis through the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC).   During this period of service analysis, the County and PRTC will initially need to consider use of existing and designated commercial parking, Park and Ride sites, and other public parking locations for selected service areas, and integrate, for example, with the PRTC’s existing Linton Hall service.


If the express bus program proves successful and the usage demand is appropriate, then the Board of Supervisors and the PRTC certainly would consider service expansion.  This complex stage would include the requisite cost analyses, phased budgeting, acquisition, construction and dedication of permanent parking areas for commuters, as well as the essential bus staging location (e.g., secure bus housing for fueling, washing, vacuuming and overnight parking) and other essential elements needed for effective service expansion.


Virginia Railway Express (VRE) expansion to Gainesville and Haymarket in Prince William County is anticipated.  VRE already exists in that corridor at Broad Run, and its westward service extension is a natural progression due to the population density and business scale centered and planned in that urbanized location.  Also assisting in that progression are the major financial investments represented by the public transportation improvements for I-66 and planned grade separation improvements associated with the U.S. 29 corridor.   


The 2003 VRE Strategic Plan identified expansion into Fauquier County, as a future option, along the Norfolk Southern Piedmont main line from the current terminus at Broad Run to either Bealeton or Remington.  The latter plan states that due to “the potential for transit-oriented development at Remington, this is likely to be the preferred terminus for VRE service extended in Fauquier County.” 


The VRE Strategic Plan also indicated that three stations are assumed along the potential extension route.  Those stations are:  “Remington, Bealeton and one intermediate Park and Ride station that could pick up commuters driving from the Warrenton/New Baltimore area.  Daily ridership by 2025 is projected to be in the range of 1,100 to 2,000 daily trips, with the higher figure representing more aggressive assumptions with respect to transit-oriented development and induced demand.  A total of 600 to 800 parking spaces would need to be developed at the three station locations.”  It needs to be noted that rail service is not a practical option and expectation at this time in Fauquier County.  Such service needs a major financial investment with the PRTC and the County, as well as a far larger population and ridership base.


July 14th Staff Report:


At the June 9, 2005 public hearing, the Board of Supervisors postponed action on the draft text amendment until the July 14th meeting, and requested time for a work session to allow opportunities for questions, final review and any essential refinements.


1.      Background InformationWork on the plan revision has spanned 18 months. The first draft was originally called the Strategic Transportation Plan and focused only on the Bealeton, Opal and Remington Service District area.  The Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission both supported the draft’s direction, but wanted its focus to be expanded countywide.  With the draft plan completed, the Planning Commission concluded its public hearing on February 17, 2005 and forwarded it to the Board of Supervisors with a unanimous recommendation that it be adopted.


Now the text amendment to Chapter 10 integrates the Board of Supervisors adopted transportation elements for all nine designated Service Districts.  Plus, it covers: (a) general policy guidelines for transportation systems; (b) planning role of VDOT and the County; (c) existing public and commuting services; (d) functional classification of roads, design standards and policies; (e) future Virginia Railway Express Service policies; (f) bike paths (g) Midland Airport Master Plan and Access; (h) transportation strategies; and (i) strategic actions.  The Chapter’s objective is to serve as the staging element and blueprint for transportation planning and implementation countywide. The draft amendment can also assist in the development of Board of Supervisors recommendations to VDOT regarding specific County priority projects needing to be placed in the 6-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). 


The transportation strategies take a broader view countywide and with adjoining counties on a variety of topics; some examples are:  (a) traffic calming measures; (b) coordination with Prince William County regarding growing regional traffic volumes and capacity problems on I-66 and U.S. 15/29 and the need to focus on multi-modal transportation efforts; (c) need to implement recommended safety improvements along Route 28; (d) direct improved access management planning and improvements along U.S. 15/29, as well as implementing VDOT’s Safety Improvement Plan for Crossovers in Fauquier County; (e) continued participation in regional planning and development policy efforts; (f) bring County design regulations into conformance with VDOT subdivision street requirements and associated documents; and (g) work with VDOT in establishing more design flexibility that result in local streets more suited to village or town center designs with more sensitivity to community character, density, scale and walkability.


2.      Planning Commission Recommendation:  The Planning Commission forwarded the text amendment to Chapter 10-Transportation to the Board of Supervisors on February 17, 2005 with a unanimous recommendation that it be adopted.


3.      Staff Request:  Staff originally requested additional time to develop a conversion table that would remove confusion regarding road classifications that are slightly different in the Comprehensive Plan, Subdivision Ordinance and Zoning Ordinance.   After more detailed review, staff has concluded that the Design Standards Manual (DSM) will eliminate the problem. The next chapter to be written by the DSM Committee (representatives from local engineering firms, staff and VDOT) begins in August and will focus on public and private street standards.  This work will also result in the replacement of the Subdivision Ordinance’s outdated Section 6 – Street Classifications.


4.      Document Location for Public Review.  The Comprehensive Plan text amendment to Chapter 10-Transportation is not scanned and attached to this document due to the numerous graphics and maps.  However, a copy is available for public inspection at two locations: (1) Board of Supervisors Office (Location: 2nd Floor, Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel Street, Warrenton; or the (2) Planning Division of the Department of Community Development (Location:  3rd Floor, Warren Green Building).


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


Board of Supervisors

Planning Commission

Fauquier County Transportation Committee

Virginia Department of Transportation



PLEASE NOTE:  a copy of the Draft Text Amendment to Chapter 10-Transportation is available for public inspection at the following two locations: (1) Board of Supervisors Office (Location: 2nd Floor, Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel Street, Warrenton); or the (2) Planning Division of the Department of Community Development (Location:  3rd Floor, Warren Green Building).