Owner/Applicant:                                        Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Margaret Raymond and Others, Owner                                   October 20, 2003

Landmark Property Development, LLC,


Staff Lead:                                                                           Department:

Frederick P.D. Carr, Director                                     Community Development

Magisterial District: Center                                         PIN: 6995-21-1875-000

Service District: Warrenton

Topic:    An Ordinance to Approve RZ 03-C-04: The Rezoning of Approximately 64 Acres for Raymond Farm from R-1 to PRD, Margaret Raymond and Others, Owner, and, Landmark Property Development, LLC, Applicant

Topic Description:

The applicant proposes the rezoning of +64.5 acres from Residential District, 1 Dwelling Unit/ Acre (R-1) to Planned Residential Development District (PRD). The proposed rezoning would yield up to 66 residential building lots. The current and conventional by-right development of the site is subject to R-1 requirements and would yield no more than 57 building lots.  Refer to Background Information Summary for the application details.


On September 15, 2003 , the Board of Supervisors conducted its public hearing regarding the Raymond Farm Rezoning Application and Modifications request; action was postponed for 30 days.  One of the stated reasons for the postponement was to allow time for Supervisors Winkelmann and Weeks to meet with the Lake Whippoorwill Subdivision’s HOA officers representing the concerns, which were raised from within its community.  That meeting occurred on October 1, 2003 and seemed to answer all the questions raised; however, Supervisors Winkelmann and Weeks need to express their conclusions.

Action Requested of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adopting the attached ordinance for the application approval, including the specified modifications as presented in either Attachment 1 (Option A-64 lots) or Attachment 2 (Option B-66 lots).  Note:  Attachment 2 included two additional lots, which results in a cash proffer of $105,000 to be applied to the public land dedication for any purpose; the renovation of the farmhouse and gatehouse are examples.

Background Information Summary:

The subject property is located at the southeast quadrant of the U.S. 15/ 29 and Route 605 intersection. The property is surrounded by residential development, predominantly by R-1 zoned neighborhoods such as Millwood, Ashley Meadows, and Lake Whippoorwill . It is bordered on the southwest by property zoned for Highway Commercial (C-2) use (e.g. Rick Hunt Ford and Dodge). Site access for the proposed development is located directly across Route 605 from the P.B. Smith Elementary School .

As outlined in Section 4-101 of the Zoning Ordinance, use of the PRD zoning district is intended to provide flexibility in residential development by providing for a mix of residential uses that include a variety of housing types, densities, and alternative forms of housing, and the combining of these uses with appropriate non-residential uses. In order to accomplish this objective, the PRD district affords flexibility in internal relationships of design elements over those provided in conventional districts.

In the case of the Raymond Farm rezoning proposal, the applicant is seeking to integrate attractive residential development with the preservation of approximately one-third of a farm that has been a long-standing local landmark. In order to accomplish the preservation of the farm’s most engaging features (the existing farm house, tree lined drive, front field, and pond), the applicant is seeking to cluster all of the residential development to the rear of the property. This development will require modification request approvals for a number of Zoning Ordinance requirements for conventional lot lines and setbacks. The requested waivers are summarized below. The applicant’s request for waivers is included as Attachment 4.

Requested Modifications and Waivers

The applicant is seeking the following modifications and waivers so that the development of the Raymond Farm application from R-1 to the PRD district can be implemented in conformance with the Proffered Concept Development Plan (CDP). This CDP is consistent with the concept presented to the Center District Citizen Planning Committee, and then at a public hearing conducted by the Fauquier County Planning Commission on October 24, 2002 .  The requested modifications and waivers to the R-1 district and subdivision standards are consistent with the Concept Development Plan proffered by the applicant, and staff recommends approval for all requests below, except where noted.

a.      2-409 Extensions in to Yard Areas:  Extensions of various design elements of homes are allowed by the Ordinance. The applicant is seeking reductions in all yard areas, but is requesting that allowed extensions remain the same regardless of the reduced yard size (i.e., a reduced front yard would not bring with it a commensurate or proportional reduction in allowed extensions into that yard).

b.      3-401 Maximum Density: The density for the R-1 district is 0.9 units/acre. This application requests a density of 1.0 units/acre. This would allow for the development of seven more residential lots than would be allowed in a by-right development. The Applicant contends that this additional density will provide a partial offset to the value lost by going from a large lot by-right development to smaller lot development in order to preserve approximately 19 acres of frontage for a public park. (Note:  a modification of the maximum density here is not required; the PRD Ordinance maximum base density is 5.5 dwelling units per acre, with the Comprehensive Plan playing a major role in establishing the requisite densities within the service districts.) 

c.       3-402 Minimum Lot Size: The proposed configuration retains the frontage along Lee Highway in open space, preserves the existing pond, retains the existing colonial style farm house and the tree lined drive to the house, and provides a 100-foot buffer to the south and a 220-foot or greater buffer to the east. In order to develop this configuration, a reduction in lot sizes is required.  The proposed PRD development will offer two distinctive dwelling types, with two lot sizes to accommodate the differing home styles. The applicant is requesting that lot sizes be allowed to vary. The larger homes would be sited on lots 9,000 to 10,000 square feet in size and located on the perimeter of the developed area. The smaller homes, to be located to the interior of the development, would be sited on lots of 4,000 to 5,000 square feet.

d.      3-403 Minimum Lot Width: To accommodate the Section 3-402 waiver request, the new smaller lots must be narrower than the 135 feet required for a conventional development in the R-1 district. The applicant is requesting that the width of the lots be allowed to vary as low as 40 feet in width.  In general, as depicted on the proffered development plan, larger lots will have a width of 90 to 110 feet and the smaller lots will have a width of 40 to 60 feet.   

e.      3-404 Minimum Front Yard:  In the R-1 district the requirement is for a 60-foot front yard setback.  The proposed development concept presents a more urban style community with the homes being set closer to the road and sidewalk.  The stated intent is to encourage more interaction among neighbors, promoting a more vital community. The applicant is requesting a reduction of the front yard requirement and is proposing a minimum of 15 feet from the sidewalk.

f.        3-405 Minimum Side and Rear: The R-1 district calls for 25-foot side and rear yards.  Raymond Farm will develop as a small lot community of 4,000 and 10,000 square foot lots. The lots will be narrower and shallower than a conventional lot. The smaller (± 4,000 square feet) will essentially have a “zero lot line.” These lots are proposed to be as close as 3 feet to the side yard lot line and as close as 15 feet to the rear yard lot line. Since nearly all of the proposed lots will back up to multi-acre community open space, the applicant states that a sense of openness will be retained even with the smaller lots. The applicant is, therefore, requesting a reduction in the side yards to a minimum of 3 feet, and rear yards to a minimum of 15 feet.

g.      7-103 Residential Parking Spaces:  The Zoning Ordinance stipulates that, in addition to parking for residents of the units, residential developments must also provide one (1) space for each five (5) units for parking of residents' boats, recreational vehicles, etc. One-half (1/2) of such spaces must not be less than 12 feet by 30 feet. The Raymond Farm Home Owners Association will prohibit outside storage of recreational vehicles, boats, and other related vehicles such as trailers. Accordingly, the applicant requests the elimination of parking space requirements for boats, recreational vehicles and related trailers and vehicles.  (Note that this requirement does not apply to single-family detached homes; therefore, the modification is not required.)

h.      Cul-de-sac Length:  Section 12-607 of the Zoning Ordinance states that the desirable maximum length for cul-de-sacs is 700 feet, but this length may be extended within reasonable limits based on physical design conditions with the approval of the Director and the resident engineer for VDOT. That Section also states that no cul-de-sac street shall be shorter than 200 feet in overall length including the turn-around or 100 feet in overall length exclusive of the turn-around.

The applicant had previously requested that the standard limitation of 700 feet of cul-de-sac length be waived for this development to allow for the construction of a cul-de-sac more that 1600 feet in length. (Note that the applicant has since eliminated the need for the cul-de-sac waiver by agreeing to extend the entrance boulevard which makes the requisite interconnections and removes the cul-de-sac length issue.)

Planning Commission Action & Recommendations:

The Planning Commission first conducted a public hearing and considered this application at its meeting on October 24, 2002 . At that meeting, the Planning Commission, at the applicant’s request, deferred action on this Rezoning request. The purpose of the deferral was to allow the Applicant more time to respond to issues and concerns presented at the public hearing, and to determine the availability of public sewer for the project from the Town of Warrenton .

The application was subjected to two additional public hearings: November 21, 2002 and January 23, 2003 . The January review included consideration of amendments to include the zoning modifications already discussed herein. The Planning Commission concluded that the majority of the requests (e.g. reduced yard and setback requirements) were reasonable accommodations to the extensive preservation of open space that is proffered.  None of the proposed waivers will impose any hardship or inconvenience on any County residents other than, perhaps, the future residents of this development. For the most part, the requested waivers involve aesthetic changes that the applicant sees as responsive to the market for the proposed development. Only the waiver request regarding the cul-de-sac length limitations received Planning Commission opposition. As a result, that waiver request was eliminated by an applicant change to the proposed street layout.

The Planning Commission’s review of this application focused on the proposed rezoning and Conceptual Development Plan as an appealing and consistent response to both the type of development proposed in the Comprehensive Plan update for the Warrenton Service District and the desire of the Community to preserve a long-standing entry gateway landmark into the Warrenton community.

In January of 2003, the Planning Commission voted to forward a recommendation of approval for both RZ03-C-04, and the requested modifications, subject to the proffered conditions.

Public Sewer Resolution:

The applicant requested that the Board of Supervisors public hearing for the rezoning application in February be postponed.  The primary reason was the need to receive a final determination from the Town of Warrenton on whether public sewer service was to be authorized and extended to the site.  At that time, the Town was awaiting the findings and recommendations of an engineering study regarding sewer capacity and constraints, and eventually the Town Council denied Landmark Property Development’s request for service.

As a result, the applicant needed either to return to the conventional subdivision served through individual lot drainfield systems, or retain the proposed PRD design and serve the project through a non-discharge styled small community wastewater treatment system.  The latter option was selected and the applicant received Board of Supervisors Special Exception approvals to allow the construction of a community wastewater treatment and disposal system and waive the public sewer requirement to a subdivision on August 18, 2003 .  The approval conditions for the community facility were:

1.      The system shall be designed and built to Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority (WSA) standards.

2.      The system shall be designed to accommodate future connection to a conventional sewer system should lines be extended to the site.

3.      The applicant shall be responsible for all design and construction costs.

4.      The applicant shall be responsible for all costs of initial operation up to the time of transfer to WSA. During this period, the operation will be conducted in conformance with WSA standards.

5.      Following system completion and attainment of 90% rate of utilization, or at an earlier time deemed appropriate by the Board of Supervisors and WSA, the entire system (including treatment facilities, primary drainfields, and reserve drainfields) shall be conveyed in fee simple ownership to WSA and will be operated by WSA.

6.      Prior to site plan submittal for the private sewage treatment facility approved hereby, the applicant shall:

a.       File an application with the Health Department and/or DEQ, as appropriate, for the proposed private sewage system.

b.      Conduct a preliminary meeting with the Health Department and/or DEQ, as appropriate, to determine basic design parameters acceptable to the Department.

c.       The Health Department and/or DEQ, as appropriate, and the County Soil Scientist shall conduct a field inspection to identify specific sites on the property that are both adequate and suitable for use as effluent discharge areas.

d.      Submit a soils evaluation proposal to the Health Department and/or DEQ, as appropriate, and the Fauquier County Soil Scientist for the proposed site of drainfields associated with the facility.  As part of this evaluation, the Applicant shall conduct a saturated hydraulic conductivity test (K-sat) to determine a permeability rate that will be used in developing suitable design criteria.

e.       Submit a design to dispose of sewage effluent, and calculate nitrate loading, ponding and disposal means in accordance with State and local health codes.

f.        Complete any design revisions deemed necessary by the Health Department and/or DEQ, as appropriate, and submit the revised package to the local Health Department for the issuance of a permit.

7.      The County or WSA shall establish and maintain a reserve fund for future capital replacement of the system or connection to an alternative system to serve this development. The applicant agrees to make an initial cash contribution to this fund of $20,000. The operating fees assessed to system users shall include a portion to be set aside for this fund, in addition to the fee that recaptures the costs of operating and maintaining the system. These fees shall commence as each dwelling connects to the system.

Summary Analysis:

Existing PRD Proposal

Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations. The detailed findings and comments are available for review upon request in the Department of Community Development; however, the principal areas of community and referral staff concerns for the rezoning application elements were mitigated at the Planning Commission stage and reflected in changes to the Concept Development Plan and Proffer Statement.  The referenced Board of Supervisors Special Exception approvals resolved the central sewer service issues.

Comprehensive Plan

The subject property is located in the Warrenton Service District and is currently planned and zoned for low-density residential development (1 to 3 dwelling units/acre). The current R-1 zoning would allow the by-right development of up to 57 residential lots. The applicant estimates that with site constraints the parcel would yield in excess of 50 residential lots if developed as a conventional subdivision.

The applicant proposes to use the PRD zoning district classification to develop at slightly higher than the current zoning density, but clustering 64 building lots to the rear of the property, away from the frontage on Route 29. This approach was chosen to accommodate both a preferred smaller lot urban design and the provision of several proffered public amenities including:

·        Donation of approximately 40% of the entire site for use as publicly owned open space (27+ acres). This area will include the small package treatment facility and drainfield system serving the park and the homes;

·        Preservation of the existing familiar and valued pond included in the public open space;

·        Preservation and donation of the existing home circa 1910-1919;

·        Preservation of trees surrounding the existing home;

·        Preservation of tree-lined drive;

·        Retention of approximately 50% open space; and

·        Integration of open space areas via a limited trails system that would be open to the public in farmhouse and park area.

The proposed plan is responsive to the input provided by the Citizen Planning Committee for the Draft Warrenton Service District Plan Update.  That plan has been subject to two public hearings, and is pending final Planning Commission recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

Zoning Considerations

In accordance with Section 3-200.5 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance, the existing R-1 district is intended to promote and maintain single-family residential communities. The proposed development takes advantage of the greater flexibility of design afforded by the PRD district, but is at similar density and is compatible with the character of the surrounding neighborhoods. The applicant has requested several waivers of yard and setback requirements to accommodate the smaller lot sizes required by the preservation of the front acreage. The Zoning Office had suggested that, to the extent that existing structures will be preserved, those structures must meet the minimum yard and set back requirements.  (Note:  the structures will now be deeded to the County as part of the public open space, farmhouse and its associated structures.)


Engineering Considerations

Additional BMP/SWM facilities may be necessary.  If existing pond facility is used, as-built plans and a dam safety inspection will be required to determine if the pond meets state and county requirements.  Alterations may be required.  (Note:  these comments have been addressed through the Applicant’s Proffer Statement in the sections dealing with the pond and the areas deeded for public use as Parcel “A”.  More detail will be expected and appropriate as part of project construction plan and profile stage of review and approval.)

Farmhouse (Residence & Associated Structures:  New Topic for Board of Supervisors Consideration)

Since the Planning Commission action on the rezoning application package and the Board of Supervisors approval regarding the community wastewater treatment system, more detailed discussions regarding farmhouse renovations have occurred (e.g., roofing, painting, internal plumbing and electrical upgrades and other needs).  The Applicant has offered Option B, which is attached for Board of Supervisors consideration. 

This alternative results in a total residential change from 64 to 66 lots; no other project modifications would result.  The two additional lots allow the Applicant to contribute $105,000 for the Board of Supervisors exclusive use for the renovation of the deeded farmhouse and associated buildings. The two added lots are located with those surrounding Parcel A1 on the east side of the entry boulevard.  (Note:  there are no reserved CIP funds for such renovations.)

Zoning Modifications and Proffer Statements (Option A or B)

The requested modifications, Concept Development Plan and Proffer Statement, for Option A or B, are in proper format for Board of Supervisors action. The modifications/waivers initially requested are identified in Attachment 4.  Not all were required, and those needed are listed within the specific adoption ordinance for Board of Supervisors consideration.   The signed Proffer Statement is available for inspection in the Department of Community Development upon request.

Financial Impact Analysis:

The current County Proffer Policy anticipates contributions by the developer of $14,730 per residential unit above the by-right density. The by-right density on this site would yield approximately 57 residential units. The proposed rezoning would yield 64 residential units (Option A). The difference of seven units is subject to the new proffer policy and is expected to yield a proffered contribution of $103,110. However, the applicant has proffered to deed more than 27 acres to the County for public use as parkland, with a small community package treatment facility and drainfield system, serving both the homes and park, to be owned, maintained and operated by the WSA; the preservation and improvement of the site’s existing pond; the preservation of the existing manor home for public use, along with its tree-lined drive; and the development of a modest trail system that will be open to the public.

Excluding the community wastewater treatment system, the applicant values the proffered land, facilities and improvements at more than $2 million, and is seeking the acceptance of these amenities in lieu of the cash contribution anticipated by the proffer policy.  (Note:  this request is consistent with Proffer Policy B.3 regarding the deeding of such land and building resources for public use; and the open space/parkland is designated in the Draft Warrenton Service District Plan currently pending final review and adoption.)

Option B briefly discussed in the Summary Analysis Section would result in a total residential change from 64 to 66 lots, with no other effect on project design.  If the Board of Supervisors expresses interest in that option, the proffered funds of $105,000 will assist to renovate the deeded farmhouse and associated buildings (e.g., paint, replace roof shingles, upgrade electrical and plumbing).  The applicant indicates that he cannot proffer that contribution with the original proposal (Option A). 

Departments, Organizations or Individuals that may be affected by this request:

Community Development
Parks and Recreation
Town of Warrenton


1.      Ordinance Approving RZ03-C-04 (Option A: 64 Residential Lots)

2.      Ordinance Approving RZ03-C-04 (Option B: 66 Residential Lots)

3.      Applicant’s Statement of Proffered Conditions

4.      Applicant’s Request For Waivers

5.      Concept Development Plan (Sheets 1-3)