Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Valley Drilling Corporation of Virginia, Owner & Applicant


October 13, 2005

Staff Lead:


Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning



Community Development


Magisterial District:






6054-76-2048-000 & 6054-76-4012-000



An Ordinance to Approve Rezoning Request REZN05-MA-017:  Valley Drilling Corporation of Virginia


Topic Description:


The applicant wishes to rezone approximately 2.3 acres from Village (V) and Commercial-Village (CV) to Industrial Park (I-1) in order to allow for demolition of the existing structure on the property and construction of a new shop.  The business will not be expanding, and the employee count will not increase.


Project Update:


On July 28, 2005, and August 25, 2005 the Planning Commission held public hearings on this item.  At the August meeting, the Commission made a unanimous recommendation to forward this item to the Board of Supervisors with approval, subject to a conditional rezoning with proffers.  The proffers would exclude all other I-1 uses except for the use identified in Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance Section 3-317, 3 – contractors’ offices, shops and material storage yards.  This use requires all equipment and materials be contained entirely within a building or completely screened from view.  This use represents Valley Drilling Corporation of Virginia’s proposal.


Be advised that a new plat and proffers were submitted to the Planning Office on September 27, 2005.  The plat requires refinements, based on referral agency review before the Board of Supervisors can take action on this item.  The proffers submitted are not signed and will likely be changed.  A signed version is necessary prior to Board action as well.  At the time of preparation of this report, staff has been informed that the applicant/owner may have concerns with the Planning Commission recommendation to exclude all other I-1 uses.  The applicant will explain its position at the public hearing.  The draft proffers (attached) do not reflect this recent position change.


Project Background:


The application includes two (2) parcels.  The first parcel, PIN 6054-76-2048-000; is 1.10 acres and is zoned V.  The other, PIN 6054-76-4012-000; is split-zoned between V (.55 acre) and VC (.66 acre).  This application requests the rezoning of the Village and Commercial-Village zoned portions of the properties which total ±2.3 acres.


The existing shop is in close proximity to Route 50 and in very poor condition.  The applicant plans to demolish the existing shop and construct a new shop near the back of the property.  According to the applicant, this would not be an expansion of the business as it would not increase the number of employees; rather, it would be a replacement of existing facilities.  The applicant states that it will meet all required Zoning Ordinance regulations.


The applicant is working with the Health Department to resolve the drainfield issue.  At present, the reserve for the drainfield is not on property owned by the applicant.  When the original Health Department permit was granted that parcel was owned by Valley Drilling.  When the property was conveyed the drainfield easement was not recorded on the PINs in this application nor was the Health Department notified.


Staff Analysis:


The Comprehensive Plan describes the Village of Upperville as having the greatest diversity of non-residential uses of all the villages in Fauquier County.  It is also one of the largest villages.  Yet it has seen little new construction in recent years.  The principal reason for this lack of activity is sewerage disposal.  Very little soil in the area is suitable for septic drainfields; new sites are very difficult to find, and many existing systems are currently malfunctioning.


The Village of Upperville is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It has been described as a “fine” example of a traditional linear settlement pattern, and contains many significant structures.   The community has one of the region’s richest collections of preserved 18th century houses, it is also where three Civil War engagements occurred, along with a mix of churches and other valued local businesses.


The conditional zoning limitations for the I-1 proposal would allow a valued enterprise to remain in Upperville and upgrade its site.  However, expanding the allowable uses onsite in the future for the proposed I-1 district could introduce conflicts with surrounding and existing uses.


As a result of the historic nature of the community and its character, the Planning Commission and staff worked with the applicant to have this site restricted just to contractor’s offices, shops and materials storage yard.  Any other use under that category would require the requisite amendment and public hearing process.  This approach would help assess whether any proposed changes were compatible with this historic community.


The Valley Drilling business is a legal non-conformity.  A Special Exception Amendment (SEA02-M-01) was approved on January 22, 2002.  This approval allows for the relocation of the buildings as proposed in this application.  However, a condition of that Special Exception states that the applicant must meet Health Department approvals.  Should this rezoning request be approved, the Special Exception would not longer be required.  However, the Health Department requirements must still be met.  The current location of the drainfield, on an adjacent parcel, may be an issue.  The applicant is working with the Health Department and to find a solution for this matter.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Conduct a public hearing.


Planning Commission Recommendation:


On August 25, 2005 the Planning Commission recommended forwarding this item to the Board of Supervisors for approval.


Financial Impact Analysis:




Land Area, Location and Zoning:    


The properties are located at 9172 John S. Mosby Highway (Route 50) in Upperville.  A map is shown below.





Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:


The property is bounded to the north by Rural Agricultural (RA); to the east by V and CV; to the south by VC and to the west by V zoned parcels.


Staff Analysis:

Staff and the appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations. Staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below. The actual responses from referral agencies are available upon request.




1.               The proposed zoning is I1 light industrial to allow a contractors offices, shops and material storage yards with all equipment and materials contained entirely  within a building or completely screened from view as listed in Article 3-317.3 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.


2.               Please note that a number of changes will need to be made to the site layout (as shown on the concept development plan) during the site plan process to ensure compliance with the all I-1 regulations, to include the following:


a) Property line and access easement will need to be vacated or moved as proposed               building cannot be located over property line or easement.


b) Additional landscaping and buffering will be required to ensure that the use is “completely screened from view” per the use category 3-317.3.


c) Additional area and landscaping may be required along some property lines to meet buffer requirements or bring them more closely into conformance with existing buffer requirements.


d) Paving for travel-ways and parking areas; if a dustless surface waiver is desired, it may be applied for and will be evaluated during site plan review.


3.               The existing building to remain on the Southeastern corner of the property does not meet the current setback requirements. This structure is a nonconforming building. Any increase or alteration to such structure must comply with Article 10 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.


Additional Comments:


Please note that it is not possible to do a full evaluation of the conceptual plan’s compliance with zoning regulation until more detailed plans are filed at later stages. Future plans must comply with all regulations of the zoning ordinance.


Engineering Considerations


The Engineering Department has reviewed the above referenced project and has the following comments:


1.                     SWM/BMP’s will be required if the increase (new gravel, new pavement, conversion of gravel to pavement or rooftop) is greater than 10,000 square feet.


2.                     Proper permits from state and federal agencies for removal of fuel tanks are to be obtained prior to land disturbing permit issuances.


3.                     The BMP calculations are to use the Occoquan Method rather than the Chesapeake Bay Method, if BMPs are required.  Change stormwater management notes on Sheet 3.


Soil Scientist


After reviewing the above stated rezoning plat signed by Marvin Hinchey, P.E., on September 20, 2005, this office has the following comments:

1.               Drainfields are not allowed on easements. (Fauquier County Code Section 17-15, (C)(2))  


2.               Driveways and parking lots shall not be constructed over drainfield areas. (Virginia Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations 12 VA-C 5-610-700 E.1)


3.               Recommendations: Soil map unit 10A is rated very poor for general development. It has a high seasonal water table and concentrated overland flow of water.


Department of Fire and Emergency Services


The following comments are provided:


If a public water supply be unavailable, this office recommends that arrangements be made to provide water at this site in accordance with a nationally recognized standard such as NFPA 1142 Standard on Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Fire Fighting. 




The Warrenton Residency staff reviewed the above referenced rezoning dated June 17, 2005, and has the following comments:


1.                  Entrances will need to be constructed in accordance with the Minimum Standard of Entrances to State Highways for a commercial entrance.  Can access to PIN Map 6054-76-5050 be obtained from the proposed entrances to minimize the accesses on Route 50?


2.                  It appears that additional right-of-way will need to be dedicated for the proposed improvements, and existing utility poles will need to be relocated.  All utilities that are in conflict will need to be relocated prior to any work being performed in the right-of-way.


3.                  This portion of Route 50 is maintained by the Leesburg Residency, and the site plan may need to be coordinated through their office.


Summary and Recommendations:


It is recommended that the Board of Supervisors postpone this item for at least 30 days.  This delay would allow the applicant time to refine the plat and proffers.  Especially in light of the new information from the owner/applicant, via its project representative, that it may want to retain some other by-right or permitted uses allowed in the I-1 zoning district, versus the conditional zoning proposed by the Planning Commission.  This would allow staff time to determine whether those proposed uses were compatible with the uses within this National Register Historic area, as well as Chapter 7 of the Comprehensive Plan (Land Use Plan: Villages and Settlements). 


Based on the Statement of Justification and original meeting with the applicant, there were no changes or expansion of the use associated with this project.  If that changes or new proffers or plats are submitted.  Staff and referral agencies would require adequate time for review of those materials.


Valley Drilling has provided service and been an integral part of the community for a long time. This rezoning would maintain that business and allow it to continue its operations. 


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

Fauquier County Department of Community Development

Virginia Department of Transportation




1.      Rezoning Plat & Concept Development Plan

2.      Proffers