Zoning Ordinance TEXT AMENDMENT to Create a Purchase of Development Rights Incentive District within Service Districts


WHEREAS, Fauquier County has a key objective regarding the Purchase of Development Rights Program criteria and encourages continued donation of conservation easements; and


WHEREAS, that objective is also consistent with stated objectives and recommendations within the adopted Comprehensive Plan; and


WHEREAS, on August 26, 2004, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the issue and forwarded the proposed text amendment to the Board of Supervisors with a unanimous vote recommending its adoption; and


WHEREAS, on October 14, 2004, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on these amendment; and


             WHEREAS, the adoption of this text amendment would be in the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance, consistent with the adopted Comprehensive Plan, and is in the best interest of the citizens of Fauquier County; now, therefore, be it


ORDAINED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 14th day of October 2004, That of Sections 4-001 of Article 4 and 4-800 of Part 8 (new addition) of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance be, and is hereby, amended as follows:









4-001               Special and Overlay Districts


For the purpose of this ordinance, the following special and overlay districts are established:


                        Planned Residential Development District (PRD)

                        Affordable Housing Overlay District (AH)        

                        Historic Area Overlay District (HA)

                        Floodplain Overlay District (FP)

                        Airport Area District (AP)

                        Planned Commercial Industrial Development District (PCID)

                        Planned Development Mixed Use District (PDMU)

Conservation Easement Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay District (PDRI) (CEI)


4-002               General Provisions


1.         Purpose and Intent -- Special and overlay districts as established thereafter are created for the purpose of imposing special regulations in designated areas of the County to accomplish the stated purposes that are set forth for each district.  Special districts are districts that are separately zoned and intended to allow for and encourage types of development other than that normally associated with conventional zoning districts.  Overlay districts, on the other hand, are not separate districts but are for the purpose of establishing additional standards and requirements which shall overlay and overlap all other zoning districts within which land placed in each district shall also lie.  As such, any parcel of land contained in an overlay district shall also lie in one or more of the other underlying zoning districts provided for in this ordinance.


2.         Establishment -- Special districts, overlay districts and amendments thereto shall be established in the manner provided for all the Sections of this ordinance below regulating such districts and by the procedures set forth in Article 13 of this Ordinance, unless such procedures are qualified or modified by the provisions of a particular special or overlay district as set forth herein.





4-801               Purpose and Intent


            The Conservation Easement Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay District (PDRI) (CEI) is established in order to preserve agricultural resources, historic resources, open space and parks, and opportunities for future transportation improvements.  More specifically, the objectives of the District are to further the Countyís Comprehensive Plan by:


1.         Preserving agricultural uses outside of the Service Districts;

2.         Establishing a hard open space edge around the perimeter of  Service Districts;

2.         Establishing parks and open space;

3.         Preserving valued historic resources; and

4.         Protecting future transportation corridors from encroaching development.


This provision provides an incentive for residentially zoned properties within designated Service Districts to contribute to the above objectives through the purchase of conservation easements development rights.  Residential projects with the Service Districts may apply for a special exception for additional density in exchange for contributing to the above objectives through the purchase of conservation easements development rights, subject to the standards and procedures set forth in these provisions. 


4-802               Establishment of the Overlay District Boundaries


            The Conservation Easement Purchase of Development Rights Incentive District is hereby established as an overlay district in all Service Districts except the Village service districts of Calverton, Catlett and Midland.  The boundaries of the overlay district shall be adjusted to conform to any amendments to Service District boundaries approved by the Board of Supervisors through the Comprehensive Plan process.


4-803               Qualifying Purchase of Development Rights.


1.         Location.  Residential development rights must be acquired from properties in the RA, RC, R-1, R-2, R-3 or R-4 zoning district located within the service district, or contiguous to the Service District boundaries wherein the project seeking the density bonus is located.   Conservation easements on Development rights from properties any part of which is located up to 5000 feet from the Service District boundaries may be considered upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that the unique nature of the property on from which conservation easements development rights are being purchased contributes to the stated objectives because of size, view sheds, historic value or some combination of these factors.


2.         Incentive Items.  The purchase of conservation easements development rights must achieve one or more of the following objectives:


A.        Agricultural Preservation.    The purchase of conservation easements development rights results in the recordation of a non-common open space easement pursuant to Section 2-700 on an RA or RC zoned property at least 30 acres in size, which is designated in the Comprehensive Plan for rural use.


B.         Open Space and Park Land.   The purchase of conservation easements development rights results in the dedication of open space to the county or the recordation of open space easements resulting in the implementation of open space and linear park system elements adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan.   The open space provided must be in addition to the minimum amount required by the underlying district for the proposed residential development in the Service District, and the open space must be publicly accessible for open space and recreation purposes.


C.        Historic Resources.   The purchase of conservation easements development rights contributes to the preservation and protection of Fauquier County historical sites, as designated in the Comprehensive Plan, through the removal of all development rights on the parcels where historic resources are located. 


D.        Transportation Corridors.   The purchase of conservation easements development rights removes development potential from affected parcels within a transportation corridor identified in the Countyís adopted comprehensive plan and which is part of the transportation must be part of the Board of Supervisors 6-Year Transportation Improvements program.  Such transportation improvements must be in addition to any transportation improvements in the projectís specific neighborhood which are required to support the proposed development.  


4-804               Calculation of Maximum Density Bonus


1.         No more than one additional unit shall be allowed within a project in the qualifying service district for each qualifying development right extinguished through the purchase of conservation easements development rights. The number of extinguished development rights shall be calculated based on:


A.        the provisions of Section 2-308.2 and 2-308.3 for the RA and RC rural zoning districts,


B.         the provisions of 3-401 and Section 2-308.4 for R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 zoned properties.


2.         The total increase in units authorized under this provision for any project shall not exceed 30 percent of those allowed by the underlying zoning.


3.         The total density in any project, including the bonus density available under this provision, shall not exceed the density set forth in the Comprehensive Plan for that location.


4.         The resulting subdivision shall be clustered in accordance with the provisions of Section 2-406 of the Zoning Ordinance, except that the Board of Supervisors may reduce the open space required in the Zoning Ordinance to accommodate the additional density.  The open space reduction results from subtracting the cumulative acreage resulting from the added units, based on their designated minimum lot size established for the respective  and receiving zoning district classification, along with the associated public street extension or additions.  The open space shall not be reduced below that depicted in 1-406.2 (R-1: 25%; R-2: 20%; R-3 and R-4: 15%).



4-805               Procedures


1.         No increase in density pursuant to this provision shall be established and no preliminary plat shall be approved reflecting such increase in density unless and until a special exception is approved by the Board of Supervisors granting such increase in density pursuant to the requirements of this provision.


2.         The special exception application shall be filed pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 5-009 and the requirements set forth in Section 5-011.  In addition, the Zoning Administrator may require submission of any additional information required to determine the number of development rights extinguished in conjunction with the application.  In addition to the factors set forth in the above-referenced sections, the Board may consider the existence of floodplain, suitability of the soil for drainfields, and other factors affecting the development potential of the property in determining the number of development rights which are deemed to be extinguished by the easement.


3.         No final construction plans, final plat, infrastructure plan, utility plan, grading permit or building permit shall be approved for any project wherein a special exception has been granted for an increase in density pursuant to this provision until such time as recorded easements are in place extinguishing development rights on all properties contributing to the density bonus.


4-806               Standards for Approval of Special Exception


The proposed project shall conform with all applicable general standards set forth for all special exceptions in Section 5-006.  In addition, the following standards must be met in order for the Board to approve a special exception for a density increase under this provision:


1.         Each of the extinguished development rights proposed in exchange for the density increase shall qualify pursuant to the standards set forth in Section 4-803, above.


2.         The proposed project complies with all other requirements of the zoning ordinance, with no reduction sought by special exception for open space within the project except as provided in Section 4-804(4). 


3.         The overall project density is consistent with the Comprehensive plan and compatible with adjoining neighborhoods. 


4.         The road and street systems is are adequate to support the increased density, or appropriate road improvements are proposed and funded by the applicant as part of the development application.