Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Joe Winkelmann, Vice-Chair Center District Supervisor


October 20, 2003

Staff Lead:




Frederick P.D. Carr, Director

Community Development


Topic:  Warrenton Service District Text Amendment to the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan


Topic Description:


Over two years of Citizen Planning Committee and Planning Commission work in the development of the proposed Warrenton Service District Plan has been completed.  This text amendment to the Comprehensive Plan is organized into the standard five basic elements included for each service district:  

1.   Existing Characteristics – planning history and growth patterns, transportation, community facilities, public utilities, and natural resources;  

2.   Vision Statement, Strengths, and Opportunities;  

3.      Land Use Plan, which identifies major undeveloped properties within the Service District;  

4.      Special Recommendations: Guidelines for Community Business / Office Zoning Districts, Reservoir and Watershed Protection and Highway Corridor Overlay Districts; and  

5.      Transportation  

Upon the request of the Planning Commission, this agenda item includes the: (a) Draft Warrenton Service District Plan (Dated:  May 29, 2003 ), subject to public hearing in June and July of 2003; and the (b) Proposed Warrenton Service District Plan (Revision Date: October 6, 2003 ) with the recommended Planning Commission refinements. It needs to be noted that the Planning Commission’s recommended revisions are highlighted in yellow within the October 6, 2003 Draft Plan for ease of reference, and to allow the Board of Supervisors to quickly compare both plans to observe their discrete differences. Refer to the attached Summary Report for the Warrenton Service District Plan and Chronology, which briefly explains these differences. 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Conduct a public hearing.  It is recommended that action be postponed for 30 days to allow consideration of the recommended Planning Commission refinements to the Warrenton Service District Plan.

Financial Impacts Analysis:


None required.

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

Town of Warrenton

Fauquier County Water & Sanitation Authority

Department of Parks & Recreation

Department of Community Development




  Fauquier County has systematically engaged in updating the Comprehensive Plan of all nine Service Districts.  Citizens interested in the update of the Warrenton Service District met for two years to discuss the many issues and future expectations associated with the Plan update.  The Draft Warrenton Service District Plan was transmitted to the Planning Commission on February 27, 2003 .   Public hearings were conducted on June 27, 2003 and July 31, 2003 .  Work sessions concluded on October 6, 2003 , with the Planning Commission forwarding the proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and recommended refinements to the Board of Supervisors for public hearing and consideration.  

Summary: The Citizen Committee based Draft Comprehensive Plan Amendment of the Warrenton Service District was provided to the Planning Commission in last month’s agenda packet.  Copies of the Plan are also available to the public for review in the Department of Community Development. The document, which follows the format of recent Service District Plans, is organized in the following sections:  

1.   Existing Characteristics – planning history and growth patterns, transportation, community facilities, public utilities, and natural resources.   

2.   Vision Statement, Strengths, and Opportunities.   

3.   Land Use Plan, which identifies major undeveloped properties within the Service District.  

4.      Special Recommendations: Guidelines for Community Business / Office Zoning Districts, Reservoir and Watershed Protection and a Highway Corridor Overlay Districts.  

5.      Transportation  

In broad terms, the Plan calls for the creation of a definite urban/rural edge to the Service District.  That edge can be created over the long-term by means of linking open space, parks and a linear park around Warrenton.  A distinct detail of the draft Warrenton Plan consists in a characterization of new development surrounding Warrenton in terms of landscaping, open space and recreational uses.  The prefix “Gateway” indicates that future development should take particular care to present a well-landscaped appearance, with setbacks from major roads in the Service District.  The prefix “Greenway” indicates that a recreational path network crosses or closely links these properties and open space areas.  The prefix “Rural” indicates that the property would remain subject to the rural sliding scale lot potential instituted by the County in 1981.  

Planning Commission Workshop Summaries  

The Planning Commission held a workshop on the draft Plan in April, discussed and ascertained the appropriateness of the proposed paths in the draft Plan with Larry Miller, Director of the County’s Parks and Recreation Department.  

In May, the Planning Commission invited Citizen Committee members to attend a second workshop to highlight key recommendations, their rationale, and receive a better working understanding of the multiple variables and reasons for the direction and decisions contained in the draft Plan.  Nine of the Citizen Committee members attended, as well as the Town of Warrenton ’s Director of Planning.   At this session, Warrenton’s Planning Director, Chris Mothershead, distributed a summary diagram of traffic growth projections on Route 29 Business, Broadview Avenue .  Mr. Mothershead felt that these projections established the need to find some relief roadway between Routes 211 and 17.  Long-standing County Plans had designated Timber Fence Parkway as the relief route.  But the draft Plan had eliminated this relief route.  Citizen Committee members, Tom Harris, John Duemmel, and Mara Seaforest, acknowledged the issue, but said that the Town’s decision to access the Gold Cup development from Timber Fence Parkway had reduced that designated by-pass, to a local collector road.  

At the June 26, 2003 public hearing, the Warrenton Planning Director expressed the Town’s wish to work with the County on regional roads. While other citizens voiced concerns about:  (1) the disposition of the Alwington Farm property and felt that the Planning Commission needed to review boundaries, delineation of the proposed open space and density in that area; (2) the need for the Warrenton Plan to incorporate, within the Transportation Map, an interchange on Route 29, whose location is represented in the New Baltimore Service District Plan.  

The Planning Commission extended the Public Hearing to July 31, 2003 to allow additional comments.  At that hearing, additional speakers addressed issues of density, boundaries and transportation.   

On September 23, 2003 and 25, 2003, the Planning Commission discussed, debated and agreed to proposed revisions. The final review and recommendation vote was scheduled for October 6, 2003 .  The recommended Planning Commission Warrenton Service District Plan, with a revision date of October 6, 2003 was unanimously approved and forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for public hearing and action.  However, it needs to be noted that the Planning Commission intended to forward two documents to the Board of Supervisors:  (1) Planning Commission Recommended Warrenton Service District Plan (Revision Date:  October 6, 2003); and the (2)  Proposed Warrenton Service District Plan (Date: May 29, 2003).  Such action enables the Board of Supervisors to compare both documents and consider the differences.


Warrenton Service District Plan Modifications (Revision Date:  October 6, 2003 ):

The revised Plan contains a variety of grammar corrections and minor alterations.  These styled changes are generally not highlighted. The Planning Commission’s recommended refinements contained in Draft Plan (Revision Date:  October 6, 2003 ) also contains some significant modifications, which are highlighted in yellow shading and are summarized below.  

1.   No Net Gain: The Planning Commission determined to reinforce a Plan intent that while development in the Service District should be clustered to allow for gateway and recreational open space, such future development should take place with “no net gain” in overall density (for examples; refer to pp. 2 and 10).The principle cited was the one used in the St. Leonard’s Farm rezoning application.  

2.      Utilities: In the last year, the Town of Warrenton completed the Water & Sewer Utility Master Plan; Part 1-Capacity and Growth Evaluation.  As a result of that technical study, the Town learned that its capacities are constrained and the unused sewer and water capacity must be reserved to meet expected residential and business growth within the incorporated limits.  The study resulted in the need to update both the original draft (Dated:  May 29, 2003 ) and the Planning Commission’s recommended draft plan (Revision Date:  October 6, 2003 ).  Refer to p. 6 in both drafts; the Planning Commission’s proposal provided more refined language regarding the designated Non-Sewered Area.  

The new draft captures new information regarding package sewer systems under WSA ownership, operation and maintenance. It provides priority and more specific language regarding Frytown and water remediation, due to the results of the Warrenton Chase extension of public water service to that general location. In response to Planning Commissioner Bob Sinclair’s concern about use of public water supplies, the revised Plan establishes that irrigation of the new County Sports Complex on Meetze Road be accomplished with local well water, rather than by “inter-basin well water transfer” from New Baltimore  

3.   Transportation:    The Planning Commission agreed with the Town of Warrenton request that the entire Service District and Town be considered as a transportation totality and the need to work together for the requisite state funding for local road improvements.  As a result, the revised Plan calls for a joint Town, County and VDOT study of transportation growth and issues. That approach lays the foundation for more community coordination in both project and funding requests regarding the VDOT 6-Year Transportation Improvement Program. The revised Plan would also preserve a potential linkage between Route 211 and Route 17 in the north-west quadrant of the Service District (refer to pages 4, 11, 20 and Figure 10-WA-1).  

4.   Land Uses:  Per citizen comments, the October 6, 2003 Warrenton Service District Plan Revision alters a number of proposed land uses contained in the May 29, 2003 Plan proposal:  

·        Service District Boundaries: The original plan inadvertently left out land already subdivided, fully developed or being completed, and having either Town of Warrenton water or sewer or WSA water service (examples were Gold Cup, Cedar Knolls, Ashley Meadows, and Terranova.  Those areas are returned and within the Service District boundary.  Frytown became the eastern edge; the regional park and the Fauquier County Fair Grounds were not included.  Also not included was that portion of the Alwington Farm, which is zoned Rural Agriculture.  

·        Figure 6-WA-1:  The proposed Community Business District on Route 29 (fronting: Chestnut Forks and going south to the Park & Ride facility) in the original plan was changed to Community Office, while Community Office proposed for the parcel, located behind the Comfort Inn and on Comfort Inn Drive, was changed to Commercial Recreation.  Note that the Commercial Recreation was not defined by the Planning Commission, and, from the staff perspective may remove the private sector incentive for construction of the service drive running behind Outback Steakhouse, IHOP, the Comfort Inn and other adjoining undeveloped properties and terminating at Comfort Inn Drive, and described on page 10 and identified in Figure 10-WA-1. That service drive at this location is an important long-term solution for the distribution of commercial traffic to traffic signalized locations along U.S. 15/29.  

·        Figure 6-WA-2:  An Office Industrial land use, adjacent to the County’s regional park on Meetze Road , was removed from the Service District and returned to Rural Agricultural use. Again, the Service District was reduced in the southwestern quadrant in the Alwington Farm location to bring the boundary in alignment with currently zoned R-1 property, plus the designations for open space and Green/Gateway Residential in this location were revised to better coincide with the overall property’s existing ridge and floodplain.  


  1. Planning Commission Recommended Warrenton Service District Plan (Revision Date:  October 6, 2003 )
  2. Original Warrenton Service District Plan Draft (Date:  May 29, 2003 )



            WHEREAS, Fauquier County has periodically reviewed and updated the County Comprehensive Plan; and

            WHEREAS, on February 26, 2001, the Citizen Committee began its process to update the 1994 Warrenton Service District elements of the Comprehensive Plan; and

            WHEREAS, the Citizen Committee worked for over two years to review, refine and share new insights and proposals for this Service District and transmitted the proposed plan to the Planning Commission on February 27, 2003; and

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Planning Commission reviewed the Plan in work session throughout the summer and early fall, and held public hearings in June and July of 2003; and

            WHEREAS, on October 6, 2003, the Planning Commission forwarded the Warrenton Service District Plan to the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors with a recommendation that it be adopted as revised; and

            WHEREAS, on October 20, 2003 , the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing; now, therefore, be it

            RESOLVED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 20th day of October 2003, That the Board does hereby adopt the Warrenton Service District Text Amendments to the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan dated October 6, 2003 ; and, be it

            RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Board of Supervisors thanks and commends the Warrenton Service District Citizens’ Committee, the Planning Commission, and all those who contributed to the creation of these plan elements, for the time, effort and care expended in this process.