A ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT TO SECTION 2-309 TO ESTABLISH 100 FOOT BUFFERS OF RESIDENTIAL USES, IN SUBDIVISIONS REQUIRING OPEN SPACE, FROM CONSERVATION DISTRICTS (RC), AGRICULTURE DISTRICTS (RA), RURAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS (RR-2), AND RESIDENTIAL-VILLAGE DISTRICTS (V)
WHEREAS, on July 28, 2005, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on this issue and forwarded the proposed text amendment to the Board of Supervisors with a unanimous vote recommending its adoption; and
WHEREAS, on September 8, 2005, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on this amendment; and
WHEREAS, the adoption of this text amendment would be in the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance, consistent with public convenience, general welfare, and good zoning practices, consistent with the adopted Comprehensive Plan, and is in the best interest of the citizens of Fauquier County; now, therefore, be it
ORDAINED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 8th day of September 2005, That Section 2-309 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance be amended as follows:
2-309 Open Space
The open space requirements presented for a given zoning district shall be considered as a minimum, and such open space shall be located on the same lot as the primary use or structure, except as specifically provided otherwise in this Ordinance. Open space requirements shall be expressed as a percentage of the gross area of the lot. In the Agriculture and Conservation Zoning Districts where the open space requirement is dependent upon site specific considerations, the open space requirement determined by the Board in conjunction with a special exception shall be considered as a minimum. No part of the open space in any development shall be subsequently reduced below the minimum requirements of this Ordinance. The computation of open space areas shall be based on the following rules:
1. In cases where the balance of land not contained in lots and streets is needed by the County for school sites, parks, recreational areas or stream valleys and such land is suitable in location, size, shape, condition and topography for such purposes as determined by the Commission using the Comprehensive Plan as a guide, then such land shall be deeded to the County for such purposes. Such land shall be referred to as dedicated open space, and shall be given full credit in satisfying the open space requirements for a given district.
2. In cases where the balance of land not contained in lots and streets is not needed by the County for such purposes as set forth in Paragraph 1, then the Commission may approve such lands or parts thereof to be conveyed to a non-profit organization as provided for in Part 6 or to an individual as provided for in Part 7. Such land shall be referred to as common open space, or non-common open space, respectively, and shall be given full credit in satisfying the open space requirements for a given district.
3. At least twenty (20) percent of the area required to meet the open space requirements of a given district shall be lands other than those lying in a floodplain. In subdivision approved for cluster development, such lands outside the established floodplain shall be comprised of a contiguous parcel not less than one (1) acre in size having no dimensions less than fifty (50) feet. In cases where open space requirements exceed five (5) acres, a minimum of three (3) acres will be so located and shall have dimensions and topography as to be open space usable for active recreation.
4. Fifty (50) percent of the area which lies within a major utility easement or right-of-way may be calculated as open space, but only if the remaining rights of the easements or rights-of-way are dedicated for recreational or open space use. In no instance, however, shall lands which lie within a major utility easement or right-of-way represent more than thirty (30) percent of the total land area needed to satisfy the open space requirements for a given district. For the purpose of this Paragraph a major easement or right-of-way shall be located entirely outside a street right-of-way.
5. In no instance shall open space credit be given for lands which are included in or reserved for the right-of-way of any street, or for any public facility except as qualified in the paragraphs above.
6. In subdivisions requiring open space, such open space shall be used to establish a 100 foot buffer adjacent to Conservation Districts (RC), Agriculture Districts (RA), Rural Residential Districts (RR-2), and Residential-Village Districts (V). However, the Planning Commission may modify this buffer requirement adjacent to Village Districts during subdivision approval, when it determines that the proposed development is architecturally compatible with the Village.