Attachment A



WHEREAS, agriculture is the leading industry in Fauquier County and a critical mass of farmland is necessary for the continued vitality of the economic engine of production agriculture; and

WHEREAS, the adopted Fauquier County Vision Statement notes the intention of the County "… to preserve the physical beauty, historical heritage and environmental quality of the County while ensuring that population growth and development is a positive force on the general welfare of the community."; and

WHEREAS, the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative has agreed to provide $1,500,000 to begin a Fauquier County PDR program; and

WHEREAS, both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States Government have made matching resources available for local farmland PDR programs and significant expanded State and Federal funding for PDR programs is probable; and

WHEREAS, private, non-profit organizations, including land trusts, may also be willing to provide matching funds for local PDR programs; and

WHEREAS, the adopted Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan provides specific endorsement for a PDR program as part of Chapter 8, Rural Areas Land Use Plan (Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan approved by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors in meeting assembled on 16 March 1999); and

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors’ Top Ten Calendar Year 2001 Priorities, adopted on 16 January 2001, include a PDR priority as follows: Prepare and implement a Purchase of Development Rights Program for Fauquier County in order to preserve important areas; and

WHEREAS, the County's Agricultural Advisory Committee created a PDR Subcommittee to work on a proposed farmland PDR program; and

WHEREAS, Subcommittee representatives researched and evaluated Virginia PDR programs in Virginia Beach, Albemarle County, Clarke County, James City County, and Loudoun County; and

WHEREAS, Subcommittee representatives also consulted with private non-profit organizations, including the American Farmland Trust, as well as public officials from Virginia and other Mid-Atlantic states with successful PDR programs, to discuss PDR programs and options; and

WHEREAS, the Subcommittee developed a lucid but simple proposed PDR program that can be implemented without attendant additional governmental bureaucracy; and

WHEREAS, a technically valid poll of Fauquier citizens, conducted by the American Farmland Trust, demonstrated profound local support for farmland preservation; and

WHEREAS, the Agricultural Advisory Committee, in meeting assembled on 31 January 2002, voted unanimously to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the farmland PDR program proposed by the PDR Subcommittee be adopted and implemented; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission, in meeting assembled on 31 January 2002, voted to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the farmland PDR program proposed by the Agricultural Advisory Committee be adopted and implemented consistent with aforesaid Comprehensive Plan prescription; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 19th day of February 2002, That the Fauquier County Purchase of Development Rights Program, as set forth herein, be, and is hereby, adopted:


I.                    BACKGROUND

Given that it is the desire of the citizens of Fauquier County to preserve and enhance the agricultural industry, the Farmland Preservation Program will focus on retaining the agricultural industry’s critical mass, in particular, farm parcels that are economically viable operations.  Preservation easements shall be purchased only for parcels meeting all of the following eligibility criteria:

Eligibility Criteria:

1.      Property is an economically viable farming operation.

·        Gross farm income exceeds $25,000

·        At least one family member’s principal occupation involves farming this parcel/ forestland

·        Farm has invested in substantial infrastructure improvements such as barns, bins, specialty structures, fencing, drainage ditches, waterway improvements, etc.     

2.      Parcel is greater than 50 acres, or comprises a combined area of contiguous parcels greater than 50 acres.

3.      Parcel is not presently zoned any category other than Rural Agricultural (RA) or Rural Conservation (RC).

4.      The parcel is not under conservation easement or pending consideration for conservation easement or otherwise restricted from development.


Standards for Ranking (high – medium – low)

Quality of Farmland

·        Parcel size

·        Quality of farm infrastructure

·        Quality of soils

Surrounding Support Quality

·        Strategic Location

·        Proximity to protected (eased) property

Likelihood of conversion to Non Farm Use and Off Farm Income

·        Resident family’s gross off-farm income does not exceed $100,000

·        Parcel risk of development

·        Road frontage

Environmental Qualities

·        Water resources

Historic and Scenic Qualities

·        Family Farm History

·        Historic Value

III.               PRICE

Payment for a Development Right - $20,000 per unit based on gross by-right allotment per sliding scale.

·        Bargain Sale

Number of development rights to be determined by:

·        Zoning department – Lotting potential (Based on gross by-right allotment per RA/ RC Land Subdivision Sliding Scale.)

·        “Type I” soils analysis

Landowner to identify remaining development rights (if any).