Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


David R. Chapman  (Owner)

Culpeper Farmerís Cooperative, Inc. (Applicant)


August 16, 2004


Staff Lead:


Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning



Community Development


Magisterial District:


Cedar Run







A Resolution to Approve SPEX04-CR-021, a Category 20 Special Exception to Allow for the Operation of a Wastewater Treatment Facility



Topic Description: 


The applicant is requesting Special Exception approval for the operation of a private sewerage treatment system for a farm supply establishment, Culpeper Farmerís Cooperative, Inc. The property is located at the intersection of Marsh Road (Route 17) and Harpers Run Road (Route 836) near Lois, Cedar Run District.


On January 8, 2004, the applicant received a Special Permit (SPPT04-CR-017) from the Fauquier County Board of Zoning Appeals to operate a farm supply establishment on the aforementioned parcel.  Subsequent to this approval, the applicant received its consultantís soils evaluation.  The analysis determined that the soils on the parcel were not suitable for installation of subsurface septic tank and drainfield systems, due to high seasonal water tables and shrink swell clays.  Based on that investigation, it was determined that no suitable sewage disposal site could be located on the parcel.  The consultant recommended a small package treatment plant to serve the proposed use.  This facility would require an engineered design, that would treat effluent which would then discharge into Harperís Run.


At the July 29, 2004 Planning Commission meeting, the companion text amendment to Zoning Ordinance Section 5-2002 to allow a new private individual sewage treatment system for certain agricultural and support commercial uses, passed unanimously.  Thus the Planning Commission forwarded this request to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation of approval.


Project History:


The applicant requires the proposed private sewer treatment facility to serve the needs of the Cooperativeís employees.  Preliminary discussions with the State Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) indicate that approval of a General Discharge Permit can be obtained.  Such a permit would allow the operation of a wastewater system generating less than 1,000 gallons per day of treated effluent.  The system itself would also be subject to approval of DEQ.


If the application were County and DEQ approved, the proposed system would discharge into Harperís Run located on an adjacent property owned by the Curtis Drilling Company.  The Curtis family has agreed to provide an easement for a discharge line to cross its property.  This easement authorizes the use of a ten-foot strip running the length of the Curtis property adjacent to the Harperís Run Road right-of-way.  The applicant met with Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and staff to discuss the pipe crossing the road.  VDOT requires the applicant to obtain a permit to cross Harperís Run Road.  The applicant also needs approval from the Health Department for an engineered design of a wastewater treatment facility.


Language in Section 5-2002.6 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance previously provided that a Special Exception for a private sewerage treatment system may be allowed for non-residential uses outside of service districts, provided that the system operated under the control of the Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority, or a Class III wastewater operator licensed by the State of Virginia.  That language was inadvertently deleted from the Zoning Ordinance Text during revisions.  The Board of Supervisors is requested to consider, concurrently with this application, a text amendment that would substantially reinstate the previous language so as to allow for a new private individual sewage treatment system for certain agricultural and support commercial uses.  Such a system is the only method available to provide wastewater treatment for the rest rooms serving the employees of the new proposed Cooperative in southern Fauquier County.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


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


Planning Commission Recommendation:


On July 29, 2004, the Planning Commission recommended approval of this item subject to a series of development conditions.


Financial Impact Analysis:




Land Area, Location and Zoning:    


The property is located at the intersection of Marsh Road (Route 17) and Harperís Run Road (Route 836) near Lois, Cedar Run District.  The property is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA).  Refer to the following map of the property, with the proposed location of the discharge line (shown in blue along Marsh Road).





Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:


The property is currently zoned RA (Rural Agricultural) and is bound on all sides by RA land.  Consistent with this zoning category, this property is located in a district that contains the areas where agriculture and forestry are the predominant uses.


Staff Analysis:

Staff and the appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations.  The key responses are summarized below.  The actual findings, comments and recommendations from referral agencies are available upon request.


Zoning Comments


The following is an excerpt from the Zoning comments:


  1. Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance Section 5-2002.6 regarding private sewage treatment was removed from the Ordinance.  Therefore, a private sewage treatment system is no longer permitted for new construction for Commercial or Industrial uses outside of service districts. Per Article 5-2002.5, a Special Exception for a private individual sewage treatment system which discharges into an open ditch or water shall be allowed only to replace an existing sewage system which is presently serving an existing use. Since this sewage treatment system would not replace an existing use, it is not permitted under the current provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.  However, the proposed text amendment being considered by the Board of Supervisors would permit new private individual non-residential sewage treatment facilities with Special Exception approval.


Summary and Recommendations:


Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors consider this item for approval conditioned upon the adoption of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance text amendment regarding a new private individual sewage treatment system for certain agricultural and support commercial uses.  The proposed Special Exception would allow for the Culpeper Farmersí Cooperative, Inc. to develop the property as a farm establishment including warehouse and outdoor sales area.  It will provide agriculturally related goods and services to customers. 


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

1.      Fauquier County Department of Community Development

2.      Virginia Department of Transportation

3.      Virginia Department of Health




  1. Special Exception Plat
  2. Statement of Justification