PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor:                                                           Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Harry F. Atherton, Chairman,                                                       August 18, 2003
Marshall Magisterial District

Staff Lead:                                                                                Department:

Elizabeth A. Cook                                                                Community Development

Topic:  A Resolution to Abandon a Portion of Old State Route 671 in Fauquier County

Topic Description:

On November 18, 2002 , the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution directing the County Administrator to institute the road abandonment process for portions of Old State Route 671 near Paris , and a revised resolution was adopted on May 19, 2003 with a revision to the citation reference revision.  Beatrice Beckner and Robert O. Beckner, whose property is located along and within this section of Route 671, have requested that the County abandon this section of road from the state system.  As asserted by the property owners, Route 671 was not historically located on their property, but immediately west of their property line.  According to Mr. Beckner, their improved driveway has been used over the years and an additional portion of their property cleared as access to properties located in Loudoun County .  The improvements and use of this section of roadway were not with the consent of the Beckners. 

In 1943, Loudoun County adopted a resolution to discontinue maintenance of Route 671 from the Fauquier County line to the Clarke County line.  The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officially discontinued maintenance of that section in 1944.  On September 3, 2002 , Loudoun County voted to abandon a section of Route 671 northeast of Beatrice Beckner's property.  At one time, it appeared that the road connected Route 50 to Route 601 near Mount Weather in Loudoun County .  Today, the only section of Route 671 north of Route 50 maintained by VDOT is from Route 50 to the Paris Water Storage Tank (approximately 0.12 miles); while the only portion not maintained within the state system is the section along and within Mrs. Beckner's property (approximately 0.15 miles).  The Beckners indicate that they gated the road in the past for several years; so access has not always been available to the public or adjacent property owners via this route.

The Beckners indicate that they have had trouble over the years with unauthorized hunters, trespassers, and vandals coming onto their property.  With Loudoun County 's actions, no public should be using the road for access purposes, as the public portion of the road ends at the Beckner property.  The Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance definition of public street stipulates that it must be maintained by VDOT, therefore the County does not consider this section of Route 671 a public street.

Three of the property owners in Loudoun County who use this portion of Route 671 to access their property have indicated that they are against the proposed abandonment.  One of those property owners, Timothy Shearer, may be "landlocked" if the abandonment is approved.  However, it is not clear whether or not the access to Route 601 in Loudoun County is still available as a "private" street.  Mrs. Beckner's representative has indicated that they would consider granting an access easement to Mr. Shearer to prevent his parcel from being landlocked.  In addition, they would grant Fauquier County an access easement to a pump house and spring situated in Loudoun County to help alleviate water shortages in the Village of Paris .

The VDOT Warrenton Residency is still researching the status of Route 671 in Loudoun County .  Generally, VDOT has indicted that it is hesitant to abandon sections of roads when opposition is expressed to the proposed closure.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Hold a public hearing and consider adopting the attached resolution.

Financial Impact Analysis:

None

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

VDOT
Landowners adjacent to this section of Route 671

Attachment:

GIS Plat
Letter from Applicants' Representative