Location, Zoning and
Current Land Use:
The 171.86 acre property is
located in the southeast quadrant of Route 602 (Rogues Road)
and Route 616 (Casanova Road), in Cedar Run Magisterial
District, and zoned a combination of Village (V) and Rural
Agricultural (RA). The northwest portion of the property is
within the Village of Casanova. The site is the current
location of Poplar Springs Inn & Spa.
Surrounding Zoning and Current Land Use:
Property to the north is
zoned a combination of Village (V) and Rural Agricultural
(RA). Property to the east and south are zoned Rural
Agricultural (RA). Property to the west is zoned Village
(V) and Rural Agricultural (RA) and is the location of the
SPCA facility. The surrounding uses contain a mix of
residential, agricultural, and institutional uses.
The applicant/owner received
the original Special Exception approval in 1990 under
Category 7, Adaptive Uses, to operate an inn for weddings,
meetings and other uses. This Special Exception was limited
to Categories 2, 4, 5, and 6 of Section 5-700 of the Zoning
Ordinance, which are art and craft galleries, restaurants,
inns or boarding houses, and multi-family uses.
In 1999, the applicant
received approval to expand the amenities of their operation
through Special Exception approval to include a full service
restaurant, overnight accommodations in a cluster of guest
cottages as well as in the existing manor house, conference
facilities, and accessory uses to the resort such as tennis
and horseback riding. The Special Exceptions issued in 1999
were approved under Category 9, Camps, recreation grounds,
lodges and resorts and Category 11, Public-Quasi Public Uses
– Conference Center and were issued for a period of 10
years. With this proposal, the applicant is requesting the
time limit associated with the Special Exception be
removed. The applicant states removal of the time limit is
a necessary component for the growth of Poplar Springs.
This large investment requires a permanent commitment to
reassure the Poplar Springs’ investors that the money is
well placed and secure in the community.
Comprehensive Plan/Land Use:
The northwestern portion of
Poplar Springs property is located within the Village of
Casanova. The Comprehensive Plan describes villages as
areas characterized by a traditional mix of land uses and
facilities, and specifically classifies Casanova as a Type
II village. This type of village is planned for in-fill
development and some limited expansion. Although Casanova
is assessed in the Comprehensive Plan to have considerable
potential for further development, it is bisected by a
railroad line, has limited access, is bounded in some
directions by large lot subdivisions, and contains
floodplain and soils inappropriate for construction and
The remainder of the
property is planned for rural/conservation land uses. The
Comprehensive Plan states that emphasis should be placed
upon the protection and preservation of agricultural and
forestal areas, and to mitigate adverse impacts between
rural/conservation uses and residential uses.
Staff notes that some of the
expansion seems to be shown in the Village zoning of the
parcel. A condition has been included which prohibits any
expansion of the resort or related activities in the Village
Zoning District. Much of the wooded area in and around the
developed area appears to be preserved. In addition a
portion of the area would continue as cropland with the
planting of grapes as part of the farm winery. On the
whole, it appears that the overall use and development of
the property will occur in a manner that will preserve the
integrity of the rural/conservation land use, while
furthering the limited expansion of Casanova as outlined in
the Comprehensive Plan.
The majority of the subject
property is designated as a rural area and is subject to the
Rural Areas Land Use Plan, Chapter Eight, of the
Comprehensive Plan. Preservation and enhancement of the
rural areas and preservation of the agricultural economy in
Fauquier County have consistently been major goals of the
Special Exception Analysis:
Article 5-006, General
General standards seek to
ensure that the requested use does not adversely affect
neighboring properties. The proposal does not appear to
adversely affect the neighboring properties in that it has
been in operation for approximately twelve years and the
limited expansion should not unduly affect the area.
5-701,Category 7 Uses
2. Art and
5. Inns or
The proposal is for the existing restaurant which is
located within the Manor House circa 1929. All renovations
are complete; no expansion is planned.
5-702, Standards for All Category 7 Uses
In addition to the general
standards set forth in Section 006 above, all Category 7
special exception uses shall satisfy the following
1. Category 7 uses shall
be permitted only in those instances in which the
continuation of the existing use is impossible or
impractical and where the proposed use is not inconsistent
with existing uses in the area.
2. Such uses shall be
permitted only in structures existing prior to 1940. No
alteration to a residential structure or dependency
containing an adaptive use shall alter the exterior
appearance of the structure from that of a dwelling or
normal residential accessory structure.
3. No off-street parking
or loading space shall be located in any required side or
rear yard that abuts a Residential District. No more than
three (3) parking spaces shall be located in any required
front yard unless specifically provided for in granting the
permit based on a finding that such parking will not
adversely affect the character of the surrounding
4. All open off-street
parking and loading areas that abut a Residential District
shall be effectively screened.
All Category 7 uses shall either be located within an
area designated as a service district, village or
settlement, in the Comprehensive Plan or be located on a lot
having direct access to a road designated as a major
collector (or higher) in the Comprehensive Plan unless the
Board of Supervisors find that the type and amount of
traffic generated by the facility is such that it will not
cause an undue impact on the neighbors or adversely affect
safety of road usage.
6. No goods or items
offered for sale shall be displayed or stored outdoors.
A thirty percent (30%) increase in square footage
shall be permitted in accessory additions or structures
which are on the same property to the principal structure
which are compatible in size and appearance.
The proposal meets all
the requirements outlined in this section of the Zoning
Ordinance. In addressing standard #5 above, the Board of
Supervisors first approved the Special Exception for the
restaurant as an Adaptive Use in 1990 finding that the type
and amount of traffic would not cause an undue impact on
neighbors or adversely affect safety of road usage. No
additions or expansions are planned to the restaurant.
5-901, Standards for All Category 9 Uses
No off-street parking or loading space shall be
located within fifty (50) feet of any adjoining property
which is in a Residential District.
Comment noted, and will
be enforced at time of site plan.
Additional Standards for Camps and Recreation Grounds,
Lodges and Resorts
1. The minimum lot size
requirement shall be twenty (20) acres.
2. No structure or
campsite or athletic facility shall be located closer than
100 feet to any lot line.
3. No permit shall be
issued for such a use until the applicant has furnished
evidence that the proposed development meets all applicable
State and local health requirements.
All parking and loading areas, swimming pools and
tennis courts shall be effectively screened.
The parcel meets the
minimum lot size requirement. Locations of structures,
athletic facility, parking/loading areas, swimming pools and
tennis courts will be evaluated at time of site plan;
however, conditions of approval have been included enforcing
5-2001, Additional Submission Requirements (for Category
1. Four (4) copies of a map showing the utility system of
which the proposed use will be an integral part, together
with a written statement outlining the functional
relationship of the proposed use to the utility system.
Four (4) copies of a statement, prepared by a
certified engineer, giving the basic reasons for selecting
the particular site as the location for the proposed
facility and certifying that the proposed use will meet the
performance standards of the district in which located.
These standards do not apply to Poplar Springs’ proposal;
the treatment plant will not be part of a larger utility
system. The system will require formal plans by a
Professional Engineer (in consultation with an AOSE) and
must be approved by the Virginia Department of Health.
5-2002, Standards for All Category 20 Uses
1. Category 20 special
permit and special exception uses shall not be required to
comply with the lot size requirements or the bulk
regulations set forth for the zoning district in which
located in Part 4 of Article 3. However, such requirements
may be established in the conditions under which such a
special permit or special exception is granted.
2. No land or building in
any district other than the Industrial Districts shall be
used for the storage of materials or equipment, or for the
repair or servicing of vehicles or equipment or for the
parking of vehicles, except those needed by employees
connected with the operation of the immediate facility.
3. In all zoning
districts, other than the I-2 District, all equipment,
machinery and facilities not located within an enclosed
building shall be effectively screened.
4. If the proposed
location of a Category 20 use is in a Residential District
there shall be a finding that there is no more suitable site
available for such use in a Commercial or Industrial
District, except that in the case of electric transformer
stations and telephone and telegraph exchanges or dial
centers, there shall be a finding that there is no
alternative site available in a Commercial or Industrial
District within distance of one mile, unless there is a
substantial showing that it is impractical for satisfactory
service to be rendered from an available location in such
Commercial or Industrial District.
5. A special exception for
a private individual sewage treatment system which
discharges into an open ditch or water, shall be allowed
only to replace an existing sewage system which is presently
serving an existing use. That existing sewage system must
have failed and have been certified by the Virginia
Department of Health to pose a real or potential health
threat and a discharging sewage treatment system is the only
alternative for the repair. In approving such a system the
Board may establish conditions including but not limited to
use, maintenance, and testing.
5-2002.5, above, a private individual sewage treatment
system which discharges into an open ditch or water may be
approved in the RA/Rural Agriculture zoning district for a
farm supply establishment where the standards listed below
a. The system is operated
under the control of a Class III, or higher, wastewater
operator which holds a current permit licensed in the State
processes less than 1,000 gallons per day.
finds such system to be the only viable option for the
such a system, the Board may establish conditions including
but not limited to use, maintenance, testing and reporting.
The system has
a permanent maintenance and monitoring agreement from a
state licensed laboratory, company, or business to do
maintenance and monitoring in the state and county.
The majority of the
Special Exception standards do not apply to Poplar Springs’
proposal. The future sewage treatment system will not be a
discharge system. The applicant has provided a statement
indicating there is no alternative site available in a
Commercial or Industrial District within distance of one
mile as required by the Zoning Ordinance.
A portion of the site is
located within the 100-year FEMA floodplain as shown with
the cross-hatching below. A Condition of Approval has been
included requiring Special Exception approval if any fill in
the floodplain occurs. A condition has also been added
stating there shall be no disturbance within one hundred
(100) feet of the floodplain.
Staff and Review Agency
Staff and appropriate
referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance
with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other
relevant policies and regulations. Findings, comments, and
recommendations are summarized below. Following each
comment is a staff note in italics stating how the comment
has been addressed:
Condition of Approval
(Category 9 – Golf Course)
substantial inputs of fertilizers and water to maintain turf
systems, runoff from the golf course shall be treated with
Best Management Practices (BMP) to minimize the high
potential of nutrient runoff into downstream receiving
This has been included as a
Condition of Approval.
Future Action / Findings
(Category 7, 9 and 20)
No fill is
permitted within the FEMA regulated floodplain without a
special exception approval in accordance with the Fauquier
County Zoning Ordinance.
Each phase of
the site plan will be required to meet the State and local
BMP/stormwater management design criteria. A stormwater
management plan prepared by a professional in adherence to
all minimum standards and requirements pertaining to the
practice shall be required with the site plan. (Fauquier
County Design Standards Manual (FCDSM) 203.2 #2 and
soils have been identified by the soil report within the
project site, a jurisdictional determination by the US Army
Corps of Engineers will be required with the site plan. The
applicant shall assure that all applicable environmental
permits have been acquired for the project prior to approval
of the final plan. (FCDSM 201.8 #4)
channels shall be checked for adequacy in accordance with
the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook Minimum
Standard #19. All culverts are to be designed to convey the
10-year storm event. (FCDSM 201.8 #3)
All of these have been
included as Conditions of Approval as related to the site
Special Exception Category
note that Section 5-906.2 states that no structure or
campsite or athletic facility shall be located closer than
100 feet to any lot line. The plan submitted does not comply
with this requirement. Zoning office recommends the plan be
corrected to show compliance before the Special Exceptions
are approved in order to avoid unnecessary confusion.
A Condition of Approval has been included stating no
structure or campsite or athletic facility shall be located
closer than 100 feet to any lot line.
Special Exception Category
Per Zoning Ordinance Section 7-502.3, the applied for system
is not considered a public or private
central sewer system
because, for purposes of Section 7-502.3 only,
the term “sewer system” is defined as any sewage disposal
system serving two or more lots or dwelling units. This
proposal does not fit either of those two scenarios.
Elsewhere in the Zoning Ordinance, the proposal is
considered a Sewage Treatment Facility since it
digests and/or treats more than 1,200 gallons per day of
sewage (Zoning Ordinance Article 15 – Definition of “Sewage
Treatment Facility). The use is subject to Special Exception
approval per Zoning Ordinance Section 3-320.7.
Zoning Comments noted; the
applicant has applied for the appropriate Special Exception
category as outlined by the Zoning Ordinance.
defers to Planning Staff the assessment of standard
The Planning staff’s assessment
of standard compliance is provided in this Staff Report.
shall provide a statement from Fauquier County Office of the
Virginia Department of Health indicating that septic
drainfields are suitable for the proposed use (Zoning
applicant has met with the County’s Soil Scientist, Planning
Staff and the Virginia Department of Health to discuss the
proposal. Over eighty drainfield sites have been identified
on the property. The Soil Scientist has prepared a map
showing the location of the drainfield sites.
It appears that there may
not be adequate area for septic drainfields to support the
proposed expansion to the facility. A total of 85 separate
drainfield sites were identified by Frazier Consultants in
the original special exception and site plan, with 9 of the
sites currently in use. However, a number of sites are no
longer useable or have been impacted by existing structures
and roads. It appears that drainfield 134 has been covered
by the existing tennis court. Drainfield 133 may also have
been impacted by the construction of the tennis court.
Drainfields 100, 112, 126, and 129 appear to have been
impacted by existing road construction and/or grading. The
proposed roads and buildings on the concept site plan would
impact or destroy approximately 11 drainfields, including 2
drainfields (120 and 127) that are in current use.
Drainfields 108, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 144, 160, and 161
appear to be impacted by proposed buildings. The proposed
tennis courts impact 3 drainfields (104, 107 and 110). The
proposed pitching fairways and putting greens impact 6
drainfields (100, 149, 157, 158, 158 and 159). The proposed
vineyards could impact drainfields 146 and 148 since the
plan calls for a shallow installation (12 inches) of the
subsurface absorption field.
The increase from 28 rooms
to 135 rooms at the Inn will require approximately 5 times
as much drainfield area as is currently in use for the Inn.
The special exception application does not address if
laundry will be done in the maintenance building, as was
proposed in the original Special Exception and site plan.
The addition of laundry will also greatly increase the
amount of drainfield area required. The conference center
and the spa could potentially require large areas for
drainfields. The special exception application also does not
address handling of any sewage that might be produced at the
winery or the greenhouse.
Given the amount of septic
drainfield area that could potentially be impacted and the
potential for a large increase in sewage produced by the
proposed expansion, it appears that it would be difficult
for the plan to meet the installation requirements for the
septic system plus the 200 percent reserve required by
The applicant has met with the
County’s Soil Scientist, Planning Staff and the Virginia
Department of Health to discuss the proposal. A condition
has been agreed upon with the Health Department, County Soil
Scientist and the applicant that if an existing drainfield
area is impacted, a new drainfield will have to be installed
if required for buildout.
The existing system was
permitted with the following conditions which are not
currently being met:
The Health Department
must be provided with a copy of the Operation &
Maintenance Manual from the designing Professional
Engineer. The manual must include a sludge management
plan and the operational requirements necessary to meet
the wastewater monitoring criteria.
The system must be
maintained under contract by a qualified Maintenance &
Monitoring service provider. The contract must be valid
for at least 2 years at which time it will be renewed if
monitoring reports are satisfactory.
The applicant should contact
our office so compliance can be achieved for the existing
system before consideration is given to further expansion.
applicant has satisfied these regulations.
Any plans for
the construction of additional guest rooms or food service
facilities should be submitted to the Health Department for
plan review prior to the start of construction.
Any expansion of the
facilities at Poplar Springs which would result in
increased wastewater flows will require formal plans by
a Professional Engineer (in consultation with an AOSE).
The current system design estimates a flow of 8,210
gallons per day utilizing a 10,000 gallon per day
treatment unit. The Health Department has no records of
the actual system flow.
Any construction on the property must maintain
setbacks from all existing drainfield and reserve areas
(200% reserve required).
The above three bullet points
have been included as Conditions of Approval.
Virginia Department of
Transportation (VDOT )
We have reviewed the
revised traffic information dated June 13, 2008, and we
concur with the analysis of their percentage of traffic
increase over the current traffic being generated by the
facility. The 11.4% weekly increase and 25.2% daily
increase are based on increase to current traffic being
generated by the facility, and not an increase over the
use which they have already been approved.
At some point in time,
their entrance is going to need to be upgraded to
accommodate the additional traffic. As it will be
difficult to determine at exactly what point the
improvements will need to be made without a time frame
that the facility will be upgraded, the entrance will
need to be evaluated with each site plan and information
provided on the amount of traffic to the facility.
A condition has been
added requiring the entrance to be evaluated with each site
plan and information provided on the amount of traffic to
the facility so VDOT can evaluate when the entrance will
need to be upgraded. The applicant is aware of this future
Parks and Recreation
There appears to be no
effect on the recreational needs of the county, therefore
the department has no substantial comment at this time.
Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District (JMSWCD)
JMSWCD has reviewed the
special exception requests submitted for the property stated
above. The proposed changes will likely disturb 10,000
square feet of land and therefore this project will require
an E&S plan at time of site plan. Without knowing more
about the proposed construction, JMSWCD has no more
recommendations or comments at this time.
An Erosion and Sediment control
plan is required at time of site plan.
Planning Commission Action:
On July 31, 2008, the
Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval
of the Special Exception request subject to the following
This permit is
specifically granted for the property as a whole and
shall supersede the previously granted special exception
permits issued on September 7, 1999. These superseded
Special Exception approvals include Section 3-309.5
(Outdoor Recreation – Camps, Recreation Grounds, Lodges
and Resorts), 3-307.1 (Adaptive Use – Restaurant) and
3-320.7 (Sewage treatment system, disposal and water
Under this special
exception, events for the resort shall be limited to the
following: arts and crafts shows; family reunions;
wedding ceremonies and receptions and similar
receptions; picnics, barbecues, and other similar
activities such as corporate retreats; education
seminars; and community-related arts, cultural, and
There shall be no more
than one hundred thirty-five (135) suites in a total of
10-15 separate buildings as generally shown on the
Conceptual Site Plan dated March 7, 2008, prepared by
The main dining room in
the existing Manor House seating capacity shall not
exceed one hundred (100) seats and the private dining
room seating capacity will not exceed fifty (50) seats.
Structures on the site
shall be limited to those existing and those proposed on
the Conceptual Site Plan dated March 7, 2008, prepared
by BDA Architects including a total of 135 suites, 6
tennis courts, spa building 12,500 square feet, outdoor
pool expansion, 4 hole pitch practice golf facility, and
300 square foot greenhouse.
The recreational facilities
associated with the resort shall be predominately for
the use of individuals staying at the resort.
- Proper setbacks shall be maintained from all existing
drainfield areas and septic components currently in use. If
development is proposed which will impact any reserve area
or other certified site for future expansion, new drainfield
sites are required to be identified and approved. Any
expansion of facilities on the property which will result in
increased wastewater flows shall require design by a
Professional Engineer and be subject to Health Department
The applicant shall
maintain at all times occupancy permits for all
dwellings and guest units, Health Department approval
and proof that State fire codes are met.
To minimize adverse
impacts on the surrounding rural Village of Casanova and
adjacent rural roadways, the applicant shall offer
patrons/clients either van or limousine service to the
facility and take other measures to minimize the number
of auto trips to the site.
Amplified sound shall
not exceed 60 decibels at the lot line.
Due to substantial
inputs of fertilizers and water to maintain turf
systems, runoff from the golf course shall be treated
with Best Management Practices (BMP) to minimize the
high potential of nutrient runoff into downstream
No fill shall be
permitted within the FEMA regulated floodplain without a
special exception approval in accordance with the
Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.
Each phase of the site
plan shall be required to meet the State and local BMP/stormwater
management design criteria. A stormwater management
plan prepared by a professional in adherence to all
minimum standards and requirements pertaining to the
practice shall be required with first submission of the
site plan. (Fauquier County Design Standards Manual (FCDSM)
203.2 #2 and A204.2.2)
Where hydric soils have
been identified by the soil report within the project
site, a jurisdictional determination by the US Army
Corps of Engineers shall be required prior to site plan
approval. The applicant shall assure that all
applicable environmental permits have been acquired for
the project prior to approval of the final plan. (FCDSM
All receiving channels
shall be checked for adequacy in accordance with the
Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook Minimum
Standard #19. All culverts shall be designed to convey
the 10-year storm event. (FCDSM 201.8 #3)
- No structure associated with the resort or any
athletic facility shall be located closer than 100 feet to
any lot line.
Any expansion of the
resort or related activities shall be prohibited in the
Village Zoning District.
The Poplar Springs Inn
shall employ sufficient persons to facilitate the
parking of vehicles, to keep track of the number of
attendees, and to control those in attendance.
All on-site parking,
entrances, and physical improvements shall comply with
the County’s site plan regulations. Entrances shall
comply with VDOT requirements.
All lighting shall
comply with the County’s lighting ordinance.
- All future tennis
courts shall be constructed with a permeable surface.
There shall be no construction within thirty-five (35) feet
of the floodplain, and no trees shall be removed within one
hundred (100) feet of the floodplain.
- The existing
sewage treatment facility shall be brought into compliance
before any new construction permits can be issued for the
site. Compliance constitutes
six months of consecutive monitoring reports deemed
acceptable by the Virginia Department of Health.
Following the requirement in condition #22 above, if any
future quarterly monitoring reports for either the existing
or new facility are deemed unacceptable by the Virginia
Department of Health, monitoring shall occur on a monthly
basis until compliance is shown in accord with the Virgina
Department of Health for six consecutive months.
- The existing entrance shall be evaluated with each
site plan, and information shall be submitted with each site
plan showing the amount of traffic to the facility. The
entrance shall be upgraded to accommodate additional traffic
when warranted by
The conditions in red were
added at the Planning Commission’s July 31, 2008, meeting.
Following a meeting with the Cedar Run Supervisor,
applicant, and staff, the conditions as found in the
attached resolution have been revised as follows:
The language in red has
been removed from the proposed resolution. First, the
Cedar Run Supervisor felt the statement that “recreational
facilities associated with the resort shall be
predominately for the use of individuals staying at the
resort” was unreasonable. There are times when the
applicant may wish to have guests to his establishment
even if they were not staying at the resort.
Second, because effluent
characteristics of a sewage treatment plant can be
affected by changes in influent strength, fluctuations
in influent volume, and changes in chemical composition
of the influent, such as additions of cleaning solutions
or other products that can affect the bacteriological
populations in the sewage treatment plant, six
consecutive months of testing puts a burden on the
applicant. The applicant is required to test on a
quarterly basis and work with the Health Department if
any of the results get out of line. In addition, the
existing sewage treatment facility shall be in
compliance with Virginia Department of Health
Regulations and the applicant shall provide such a
statement to the Department of Community Development
before any building permits can be issued for the site.
Finally, upon further
research, the applicant requested that not all of the
six future tennis courts be required to be constructed
with a permeable surface. The applicant is in agreement
to do no less than two of the future courts with a
permeable surface; however, he would like the
flexibility to possibly use clay, concrete, carpet,
Rebound Ace, or something similar based on the needs of