This proposed Zoning
Ordinance text amendment would increase the required front yard
setback requirements for certain properties within service
districts and within rural zoning districts.
Properties zoned residential and lying within service
districts boundaries would have the required front yard increased
to 150 feet, measured from the centerline of the road or pair of
lanes, if they have frontage along roads classified as arterials
and freeways in the Comprehensive Plan or on Route 215. This also
would be true for parcels in rural zoning districts that front on
The current minimum
front yard requirements vary with the particular zoning district
and the Comprehensive Planís classification of the particular
road. The Residential-2, Residential-3, Residential-4 and Village
Zoning Districts now require a minimum 80-foot required front yard
for parcels fronting on a major thoroughfare.
The minimum front yard for the Residential-1 Zoning
District is 90 feet fronting a major thoroughfare, while the Rural
Zoning Districts require a 105-foot setback requirement. The
required front yard is measured from the centerline of a road (or
the centerline of the nearer set of lanes in the case a road has
more than two lanes).
Staff proposes to
require a minimum 150-foot setback, as measured from the
centerline of arterials and freeways (or the centerline of the
nearer set of lanes in the case a road has more than two lanes),
for parcels in the service districts and rural zoning districts
fronting on specified roads. The affected roads would be Routes
17, 28, 29, 50, 211 and 245.
Staff recommends Route 215 also be included due to the
continued commercial and residential redevelopment of Vint Hill
and future traffic considerations associated with the construction
of the Brookside subdivision.
distance would provide insulation for new dwelling units from the
roads for traffic noise or future road-widening projects, and will
create an increased safety buffer in the case of a large-scale
zoned as commercial, industrial and village would not be affected
by the text amendment.
County Planning Commission held a public hearing on July 25, 2002,
and voted to forward this proposed text amendment with a
recommendation for approval.
Commission voted, at its February 28, 2002, meeting, to initiate a
text amendment following a Virginia Department of Transportation
request to change the measurement of the required front yard from
the centerline of the road to the property line.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on March 28,
2002, on the original VDOT proposal and voted to table the matter
for 60 days for additional study. Community Development staff then requested an additional 30
days to discuss several options after County legal staff pointed
out several issues. The
current refined version is more restrictive than the original
proposal, so the July 25, 2002, public hearing became necessary.
Staff examined the
original VDOT proposal and found simply changing the measurement
point from the centerline of the street to the property line would
create several problems. If
additional adjustments were not made to the required front yard
distances, a large number of non-conforming lots and buildings
would be created, making routine additions or new construction
difficult or impossible without receiving a variance from the
Fauquier County Board of Zoning Appeals. Designating the property
line as the measurement point also could make certain lots
unbuildable, even in recently approved subdivisions, because those
lots were designed using the current required front yard
Even in the refined
form, the proposed text amendment will create nonconformities on
some parcels of record along the specified roads.
New construction or renovations on those parcels may
require variance approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals before
work can proceed.
County legal staff
also pointed out issues presented by dedicated rights-of-way and
proscriptive easements if the measurement point was changed to the
property line. Some
proscriptive easements run through interior portions of parcels,
so measurement from the property line could mean the building
restriction line might fall within the roadbed or within a few
feet of the travel way.
VDOT staff members
cited the Lake Whippoorwill subdivision near the intersection of
Routes 605 and 15-29 to support their request.
The later phases of that subdivision are accessed via
interior streets, but some of the lots also back up to the
right-of-way bordering the northbound lanes of Routes 15-29.
The Zoning Ordinance treats these lots as having a double
front yard because they have frontage on two roads (the internal
street and Routes 15-29). For structures in the Residential-1 Zoning District, the
current required setback from a major thoroughfare such as Route
29 is 90 feet from the nearer set of lanes.
VDOT personnel pointed out a major thoroughfare may have a
right-of-way of 110 to 160 feet, so a structure may be 90 feet
from the centerline of the road (in an R-1 Zoning District) and be
located just outside of the right-of-way boundary.
version being presented for public hearing will provide a buffer
between the traffic traveling Fauquier Countyís major roads and
new residences and accessory structures.
The Commercial, Industrial and Village Zoning Districts
would not be affected by this proposal.
If the Board of
Supervisors wishes to approve the proposed Zoning Ordinance text
amendment, an Ordinance of approval is included as Attachment