Meeting Date:

Planning Commission

August 19, 2002

Staff Lead:



Frederick P.D. Carr

Community Development

Topic: Text Amendment to the Subdivision Ordinance, Section 9-4, Application Review for Preliminary Plats


The recommended change to Section 9-4 of the Subdivision Ordinance regarding preliminary subdivision applications requires this application to be officially filed and accepted for processing 40 days prior to the next scheduled Planning Commission meeting. 

The preliminary subdivision application process is consuming more Planning Commission time and energy due to application volume and process deficiencies.  After the official filing, the Fauquier County Subdivision Ordinance and Virginia Code require Planning Commission action within 60 days after the official filing, unless the applicant agrees to an extension.  To be placed on the Planning Commission agenda for review and action, the amendment requires the preliminary plat application to meet submission and checklist review requirements as presented in the analysis section herein.   

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

 Consider adoption of the text amendment to Section 9-4 of the Subdivision Ordinance.



 The issue is with unrealistic timeframes, which result in incomplete preliminary subdivision applications reaching the Planning Commission.  At present, an applicant or their engineering firm/representative must file the preliminary plat application package forty days prior to the Planning Commission scheduled meeting.  The Department staff has seven days to review the application and must notify the applicant in writing within ten days of the filing on whether their application has been accepted or rejected.  If rejected, the submission package must be returned to the respective applicant with the written list of deficiencies. 

Even though the application has been rejected, the applicant can submit, under the existing Subdivision Ordinance rules, a revised application that addresses the listed discrepancies up to 23 days before the next Planning Commission meeting.  If the application is accepted, the Department then transmits the preliminary plat to all referral agencies for their review and recommendations.  VDOT and other agencies require a minimum of 30-45 days for the review of projects, depending on the applicationís complexity.  The result is that staff does not receive the essential technical reviews for the Planning Commission meeting, and the applications proceed through a series of postponements.  With the volume of land development applications, plan reviews required at the last minute to meet agenda and packet delivery deadlines are subject to errors and oversights.  This archaic process is simply not an efficient use of applicant, Planning Commission and staff time.  Note that there is no change to the decision action timeline of 60 days once the application is accepted and designated officially filed

The text amendment states that a submission must be filed, with any corrected deficiencies, and officially accepted 40 days prior to the Planning Commissionís next regularly scheduled monthly meeting.   

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

 Property Owners