Owner/Applicant:                                              Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

William H., and Nelson D. Martin, Owners                                August 18, 2003

AT&T Wireless, Applicant

Staff Lead:                                                                                Department:

Robert C. Counts                                                             Community Development

Magisterial District: Cedar Run                                                     PIN(s):

Service District: None                                                          7914-33-2804-000

Topic: Consideration of SE03-CR-29: A Category 20 Special Exception to Allow a Telecommunications Tower in Excess of 80 feet, William H. and Nelson D. Martin, Owners, AT&T Wireless Services (AWS), Applicant

Topic Description:

The Applicant is seeking a Special Exception to allow installation and operation of an unmanned, wireless radio link.  This radio link will consist of three (and possibly as many as six) panel antennas installed on a 105-foot tall monopole. The antennas will each measure no more than 75’’H x 5”W x 3”D.  An equipment cabinet (70”H x 54”W x 38”D) will be placed on a concrete pad near the base of the monopole as per attached site plan. One equipment cabinet will be installed initially with up to two additional cabinets to be installed in the future. The entire facility will be within a 2,500 square foot compound surrounded and secured by a 6’ tall fence.

The Applicant states that the proposed radio link is a necessary component of the area-wide system that AWS is deploying in Fauquier County . This site has been described by the Applicant as being critical to AWS because it will provide wireless coverage along a significant portion of Dumfries Road east of Warrenton where AWS subscribers currently cannot access the network or where they lose signal.  According to the Applicant, the proposed site was selected because it is strategically located in relation to AWS’ other existing or planned radio links and will provide the widest and most efficient coverage of the arterial roadways in the area while minimizing its visual impact on major thoroughfares. 

Location, Land Area, Zoning, and Neighboring Land Use:

The property is located on the north side of Dumfries Road (Route 605) between Neavils Lane and Taylor Road (Route 670). It consists of 39.66 acres zoned RA. The site is bordered on the north and east by properties in the RA zoning district and on the south and west by properties in the R-1 and R-2 zoning districts. Development ranges from sparse to moderately intense residential development.

Action Requested of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the attached resolution.

Report Update:

On July 21, 2003 , the Board of Supervisors conducted and closed a public hearing on this request. At that meeting, the Board deferred action until the meeting on August 18, 2003 . This deferral, granted at the request of the Applicant, was to allow additional time for the County’s telecommunications consultant to analyze new tower coverage data provided by the Applicant.

This additional analysis had not been completed at the time of this report. It will, however, be provided to the Board of Supervisors as soon as it is available.

Based on the analysis of data previously submitted by the Applicant, the Planning Commission recommended denial of Special Exception request SE03-CR-29 based on the following:

1.      That the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance for a Special Exception are not met in this application, the Commission finding that the proposed facility will negatively impact the public health, safety and welfare of residents of Fauquier County and adjoining property owners.

2.      The proposed use will hinder and discourage the appropriate development and use of adjacent land and impair the value of adjacent land in violation of Sections 5-006, 11-101 and 11-102 of the Zoning Ordinance.

3.      That the proposed use will be incompatible with existing or planned development in the general area and the Comprehensive Plan.

4.      That the proposed use fails to comply with and is not in conformity with the applicable standards of Article 5 and Article 11 of the Zoning Ordinance and all other applicable requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.

5.      That the property, which is the subject of this Special Exception request, has available to it other existing reasonable permitted, Special Exception and special permit uses.

6.      That other existing and potential locations are suitable to serve the proposed use.

7.      That the proposed site, at the elevation proposed, is not necessary in order to afford cellular service in the affected area.

8.      That suitable alternatives to afford cellular coverage in the affected area exist or are feasible.

However, should the new information provided by the Applicant, and analyzed by the County’s telecommunications consultant, convince the Board of Supervisors to approve SE03-CR-29, staff recommends that such approval be subject to the following conditions:

1.      This Special Exception is subject to the provisions of Article 12 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance, Site Plans, as may be determined by the Fauquier County Department of Community Development.  Any plans submitted pursuant to this Special Exception shall be in conformance with the Special Exceptions Exhibits submitted by AT&T Wireless Services, LLC, Site Number: 005-017 Martin Raw Land as prepared by Centrex Communications Services, Inc., dated March 17, 2003 , and these conditions.

2.      The Special Exception is granted for and runs with the land indicated in this application and is not transferable to other land.

3.      This Special Exception is granted only for the purpose(s), structure(s) and/or uses indicated on Special Exception plat approved with the application, as qualified by these development conditions.

4.      The use shall comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Communications Commission requirements at all times.

5.      This approval is for a monopole tower with a tower height not exceeding 105 feet.

6.      Prior to site plan approval, the Applicant shall obtain an official FAA air hazard determination.

7.      There shall be no signals or lights or illumination on any antenna, unless required by state or federal authorities, or the county.

8.      The antennas shall be flush mounted to the pole in order to minimize the visual impact.

9.      A 6-foot chain link fence shall surround the area.  The area shall be large enough to allow future shelters to be accommodated. 

10.  The structure shall be sited within a stand of trees of a minimum 100-foot radius depth. 

11.  The dual-polarized antennas, the pole and related equipment cabinets shall all be within the size and height limitations specified in the Ordinance.

12.  Antennas and pole shall be finished in non-reflective materials of matching color.

13.  The equipment cabinet(s) shall also be finished in a neutral, non-reflective material.

14.  There shall be no commercial advertising on the Site.

15.  All ground equipment shall be within a 2,500 square foot fenced and secured area that shall be surrounded by mature woodland and shall be virtually undetectable from public ways or abutting properties.

16.  The limits of clearing and grading for the entire 55.5-acre parcel shall be indicated on the site plan.  To the extent possible, existing mature tree stands shall remain.  There shall be no disturbance beyond the indicated limits of clearing and grading. The Applicant shall not remove existing trees within 200 feet of the Site except as authorized to permit construction of the facility and provide for vehicular access to the Site.

17.  Prior to the issuance of the Zoning Permit, at least one (1) telecommunications provider shall have an executed lease with the Applicant.  The owner/Applicant shall provide collocation opportunities to other carriers so long as it is technologically possible.  The Applicant shall provide written documentation to the Fauquier County Zoning Administrator in the event that any future collocation cannot be accomplished.

18.  Any antenna or tower shall be disassembled and removed from the site within 90 days of the discontinuance of the use of the tower for wireless telecommunications purposes.  Removal includes the removal of the antennas, telecommunication towers, fence footers, underground cables and other related equipment/structures.  If there are two (2) or more users, then this provision shall not become effective until all users cease using the tower.


  1. Resolution of Approval
  2. Resolution of Denial