Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Fauquier County Planning Commission

September 16, 2002

Staff Lead:


Frederick P.D. Carr, Director

Community Development

Topic:  Amendments to Sections 9-1000 and 9-1006 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance Regarding Statement of Purpose and Outdoor Recreational Lighting on Public and Private Athletic Fields

On August 19, 2002, the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the proposed Zoning Ordinance text amendments.  Action regarding the proposed amendments was postponed until the next regular meeting.


The Planning Commission conducted a lengthy examination of the proposed amendments to the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance regarding outdoor recreational lighting.  The Commission established two primary objectives for the amendments: ensure a safe level of light for play and minimize the amount of glare and spillover light emanating from outdoor recreational lighting, other than that associated with residential accessory uses such as swimming pools or private tennis courts. 

If approved, the amendments would clarify the purpose and intent of the Zoning Ordinance regarding general outdoor lighting regulations and specify standards for outdoor recreational lighting.  The amendments would: 

         Regulate outdoor recreational lighting on public and private facilities.

         Require lighting fixtures to be mounted and aimed so beams fall within the primary playing area and be within the recreational lighting specifications for safe play.

         Require direct illumination to be confined within the property lines of the recreational use.

         Mandate full light cutoff from the fixtures.

         Prohibit the placement of poles or fixtures within 50 feet of adjoining property lines.

         Require a field lighting design plan including the lighting requirements for each field and specifications and technical measures on how to reach those requirements.  Special tree planting and/or buffering would be shown to assist in light control and protection of adjacent properties and roadways.

         Prohibit outdoor recreational lighting in the Rural Conservation Zoning District or within 1,000 feet of a Rural Conservation zoning line.

         Establish curfews for newly lighted outdoor recreational facilities (public and private).

         Require override timing devices for newly lighted fields or existing fields being upgraded or refitted (public and private) to assure curfew compliance.

         Provide for modification, wavier or variation from the standards set forth in the article.  Only the Board of Supervisors, following recommendation from the Planning Commission may grant such modification, waiver or variation.  Both the Board and Commission shall hold public hearings on any modification, wavier or variation request.


      The ordinance of approval is provided as Attachment 1.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Approve the proposed Zoning Ordinance text amendments as presented in Attachment 1. 

Financial Impacts Analysis:


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

Community Development

Parks and Recreation

Fauquier County Public Schools

Attachment 1:   Ordinance of approval

Attachment 2:   Letter from Chairman of Parks and Recreation dated 9/6/2002