Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Planning Commission


September 8, 2005

Staff Lead:



Frederick P.D. Carr, Director


Community Development



Proposed Fauquier County Design Standards Manual


Topic Description:


The Board of Supervisors directed the Department of Community Development in January of 2005 to prepare the Design Standards Manual (DSM).  Many jurisdictions through time have developed such manuals to outline engineering and other technical requirements that must be incorporated into all categories of plan submissions, including construction and site plan applications.  Approval of these engineered plans then lead to the construction of commercial, residential, industrial, institutional and public projects.  The County is in the process of incrementally preparing essential elements of the Fauquier County Design Standards Manual; refer to the Summary Staff Report for the details.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Conduct and close the public hearing and postpone action for the specified chapters of the Design Standards Manual for the next meeting.

Financial Impact Analysis:

None completed


Summary Staff Report:


General Purpose of the Design Standards Manual (DSM):


As part of the Department of Community Development’s proposed refinements to the construction plan and major site plan review process presented in January of 2005, the Board of Supervisors identified the completion of a Design Standards Manual as a priority project to be completed over a 12-month period.  The document will present the minimum technical requirements, recommended criteria and practices, and procedures for development in Fauquier County.  Its purpose is to guide applicants and design professionals through the design requirements and criteria, as well as submission, bonding, construction, inspection procedures all leading to final permitting for all categories of development.  It also will identify the appropriate references to referral agencies involved in the process, as well as their associated development and design standards.


DSM Design Team:


The Engineers & Surveyors Institute (ESI) assists the Department in completing minimum checklist review of all construction plans and major site plans prior to their submission to the County.  Refer to Attachment 1 for the summary information regarding ESI.


Most design firms working within Fauquier County are also members of ESI in other Northern Virginia jurisdictions.  Therefore, the Department took advantage of that experience and invited five practicing engineers from the ESI participating firms of Carson & Harris (Rick Ashley, P.E.), Christopher Consultants (Lance Kilby, P.E.), DRH Design (David Hall, P.E.), Rickmond + Bury Engineering (Paul Bernard, P.E.) and Patton, Harris Rust & Associates (Fred Ameen, P.E.) who have volunteered their time to prepare this document. These referenced professionals meet twice monthly to speed the development of this key technical manual. 


Attached is the detailed Design Standards Manual, which includes:


ü      Table of Contents.  This element serves as the skeleton topic outline for the entire document.  The Committee prefers to incrementally prepare the technical elements and subject them to Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors public hearing and adoption as they are completed.  This method will show consistent progress and immediate implementation in key areas. 


ü      Chapter 1: General Provisions.  This chapter focuses on the overall document purpose and administration.  It also provides an opportunity to request engineering waivers with justification, an appeals procedure, and procedures for updating DSM material;


ü      Chapter 2:  Drainage.  Consolidates and includes general drainage, stormwater management, Best Management Practices (BMP), erosion and sediment control requirements, and associated bonding and inspection requirements; and


ü      Chapter 8:  Performance Guarantee.  This chapter identifies the types of surety for construction/public infrastructure (e.g., bond, cashier’s check, letter of credit, or cash), documents required, procedures for performance guarantee reductions and releases, street acceptance procedures, and unit price list upon which performance guarantees are based.


Christer Carshult and Saundra O’Connell from the Engineering Office and members of the DSM Committee will be present at the public hearing.  It is recommended that the public hearing be closed and any action on the Design Standards Manual postponed until the October 13th meeting.  This action will allow coordination of a companion revision to the Fauquier County Code to eliminate with proper references, for example, the stormwater and erosion and sediment control portions that are now more appropriately incorporated and located within the DSM.  This “housekeeping edit” will require public hearing and action only at the Board of Supervisors October 13th meeting. 


The Planning Commission conducted its public hearing on July 25, 2005 and unanimously forwarded Chapters 1, 2 and 8 to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation of approval. 


Draft copies of the Design Standards Manual are also available for public review in the Department of Community Development (Planning Division), 3rd Floor, Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel Street, Warrenton. 

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

John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District



Design Firms



  1. Engineers & Surveyors Institute (ESI) Information
  2. DSM Table of Contents
  3. Chapter 1:  General Provisions
  4. Chapter 2:  Drainage
  5. Chapter 8:  Performance Guarantee