Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Planning Commission


October 13, 2005

Staff Lead:



Frederick P.D. Carr, Director


Community Development



An Ordinance Adopting the Fauquier County Design Standards Manual as Part of the Fauquier County Code


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:


Consider the attached ordinance for the Design Standards Manual, which is added to the Fauquier County Code as Appendix E.

Financial Impact Analysis:

None completed


Summary Update:


The Board of Supervisors postponed action on the Design Standards Manual until the October meeting.  The principal reason was that a companion text amendment to the Fauquier County Code needed to be prepared for public hearing on October 13, 2005.  The purpose of that text amendment was to revise Chapter 11:  Grading, Soil Erosion and Sediment Control.  The revision would eliminate the contents of Articles I and II which included grading, soil erosion and sediment control, and stormwater management.  Substitute language in that code section would refer to Appendix D:  Design Standards Manual (Chapter 2: Drainage).


The Board of Supervisors should follow the following adoption steps: 


a.       Step 1 (Consent Agenda):  Adopt this ordinance amending the Fauquier County Code that:  (1) adopts Chapter 1: General Provisions, Chapter 2: Drainage and Chapter 8:  Performance Guarantee; and (2) adds the Design Standards Manual, with those chapters, as Appendix E.  (Note: these have been subject to all of the requisite public hearings.); and


b.      Step 2 (Public Hearing Agenda):  In the evening, adopt the text amendment to the Fauquier County Code that removes the existing erosion and sediment control and stormwater management procedures, guidelines and standards from Chapter 11, and references their location in Appendix E:  Design Standards Manual.


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, and 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.


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.


The Planning Commission conducted its public hearing on July 28, 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. Ordinance
  2. Design Standards Manual Table of Contents
  3. Chapter 1:  General Provisions
  4. Chapter 2:  Drainage
  5. Chapter 8:  Performance Guarantee