Meeting Date:

Board of Supervisors

October 21, 2002

 Staff Lead:



Frederick P.D. Carr

Community Development


A Resolution Establishing the Fauquier County Proffer Policy for Residential Elements of Rezoning Applications


Topic Description:

In March of 2002, the Board of Supervisors requested that the Planning Commission review the Fauquier County Proffer Policy and update the September 1999 Proffer Policy Analysis Report. 

The result of the Planning Commission work is the Proposed Proffer Policy described within the Public Summary Section is attached.



Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment and consider adoption of the attached resolution.


Planning Commission Recommendation: 

After completing the September 26, 2002 public hearing, the Planning Commission unanimously forwarded the Proposed Proffer Policy to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation that it be approved.


Financial Impacts Analysis:

The Proffer Analysis Report and Proffer Policy identify the requisite impact information.

Public Summary Information:


A.  Background Information.  At the conclusion of the approved 1998 Waterfield Rezoning, the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors asked for a review of the County’s proffer policy.  As a result, the Planning Commission and Department of Community Development completed a preliminary Proffer Policy Analysis Report in September of 1999.  That study reviewed the State enabling legislation, identified what other growth jurisdictions used as their proffer review methodology and guidelines, and presented recommended refinements to the County’s proffer assessment procedures with special emphasis on the residential rezoning category.

Implementation of the recommendations was postponed indefinitely pending results in Prince William and other neighboring counties.  With all service district plans nearing completion and recent rezoning applications, the need for implementing a revised Proffer Policy has gained a priority ranking.  In March of 2002, the Board of Supervisors requested that staff and the Planning Commission update the figures and recommendations in the referenced report, as appropriate.  The target completion date for that report was July of 2002.  Planning Commission review was concluded in August, and the public hearing was completed without any public opposition regarding the Proposed Proffer Policy. 

B.     Report & Proposed Proffer Policy.  The proposed Board of Supervisors Proffer Policy is included as Attachment 1, and much of the data and framework are included in the revised Proffer Policy Analysis Report, which is attached.  The Report outlines three options, which could be used in assessing capital infrastructure impacts presented by rezoning applications: 

1.      Capital Improvement Program Average Methodology (CIP);

2.      Existing Level of Service Methodology (ELS); and

3.      Cost to Build Methodology (CTB). 

The Proposed Proffer Policy is based on the Existing Level of Service Methodology, and recommends that the maximum voluntary cash proffer, which the Board of Supervisors will accept for a residential rezoning will be $14,730.  It needs to be noted that the 1990 Board of Supervisors’ Policy only outlined how rezoning applications should be reviewed for their local and Countywide impacts, with very general guidelines regarding cash contributions and deeded property. 

C.  Enabling Legislation.  The Virginia legislature has three separate types of proffer legislation, which apply to differing localities statewide.  These categories are summarized below.

1.      The first category is commonly referred to as the “old style” proffering (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2296).  This category is wide open to a jurisdiction; anything may be proffered and it applies to a very select number of localities:  Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County and Virginia Beach.  Under this type of conditional zoning, a developer/applicant may proffer anything to the locality without the requirement that the proffer need arises from the proposed rezoning.  An example could be a residential developer proposing to dedicate land and/or construct a commuter parking lot or commuter rail stop along the Dulles Toll Road.

2.      The second type of proffer legislation can be referred to as the “high growth” or “middle style” of proffers (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2298).    This enabling legislation is limited to those jurisdictions that had a population growth of ten percent or more from “the next to latest decennial census year,” and to certain localities which are located adjacent to such a locality as defined in that section.  This code section allows these localities to accept proffers if:  “ (i) the rezoning itself gives rise to the need for the conditions;   (ii) the conditions have a reasonable relation to the rezoning; and (iii) all conditions are in conformity with the comprehensive plan as defined in 15-2-2223.” 

These restrictions are important since they limit proffers to impacts arising out of the rezoning application.  For example, to accept a cash or land proffer for schools, it must be theoretically shown that the development will need new or additional construction in that area of the County to serve that project, or that school seats will have to shift to another school as a result of the proposed residential rezoning.  In addition to the nexus standard, the Virginia Code also requires that the proffer of cash or real estate not be accepted until the project is shown in the jurisdiction’s Capital Improvement Program.

3.  The third and final type of proffer is normally referred to as the “new style” proffering (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2297).  This category is the most limited.  While it has similarities to the high growth proffering process and requirements, it prohibits cash contributions, mandatory dedication of real or personal property for enumerated uses, construction of off-site improvements or proffers not related to the physical development or operation of the property.

Fauquier County falls under the requirements described for the high growth proffer category.  The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors enacted changes to the Zoning Ordinance on August 7, 1990 to accept cash proffers from applicants seeking rezoning approvals in accordance with the enabling legislation adopted by the Virginia Assembly on July 1, 1990.  As a result of those changes, the Board of Supervisors also adopted the Policy Regarding Guidelines for Proffers and Staff Analysis of Rezoning and/or Comprehensive Plan Implications. As stated before, this ten-page document provides broad guidelines on how to review residential rezoning applications, and provides general guidance on areas that are relevant for proffer consideration. A copy can be provided if requested.

D.  Proffer Policy Analysis Report.  Other jurisdictions have enacted ways to mitigate capital facilities impacts of a proposed rezoning application by accepting combinations of land dedications, actual construction and differing amounts of cash proffers as shown in the previous sections of this report. The County Proffer Policy Analysis Report (Updated:  July 24, 2002) reviewed and summarized the methodologies used by the Counties of Chesterfield, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford, as well as the City of Chesapeake.  All established approaches are successful and were designed pursuant to the applicable proffer limitations established in the Virginia Code for their jurisdiction. 

The report analyzed the following options from the latter jurisdictions, and all provide the requisite building blocks needed to determine capital costs for all facilities.  These options are described as: 

(1)   The Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Methodology;

(2)   Existing Service Levels Methodology (ELS);

(3)   Cost to Build Methodology (CTB); and

(4)   Level of Service Cutoffs Methodology (LOSAX). 

At the conclusion of its September public hearing, the Planning Commission recommended to the Board of Supervisors, as demonstrated in Attachment 1, that the full $14,730 per residential unit be the threshold amount for residential rezoning applications.  At present, Frederick, Loudoun and Prince William Counties are trying to capture 100 percent of that per unit for public infrastructure costs through voluntary cash contributions, actual construction, and deeded property for all residential rezoning applications. Chesterfield County attains approximately 85% of that public infrastructure cost. 


1. Proposed Proffer Policy

2. Proffer Policy Analysis Report (Dated:  July 24, 2002) 

The following Appendices are not available as part of this electronic agenda report and in the Proffer Policy Analysis Report.  That information can be reviewed at any time upon request in the Department of Community Development as part of the latter report.   The referenced report appendices involved are as follows:


Appendix 1 – Cash Proffer Report

Appendix 2 – Summaries of other Jurisdictions

Appendix 3 – Unit prices for other Jurisdictions

Appendix 4 – Existing Methodology method of School Cost Allocations in Fauquier County

Appendix 5 – Existing Level of Service backup material

Appendix 6 – Comparison of Fauquier County Student Generation Rate with Loudoun, Chesterfield and Chesapeake

Appendix 7 – Virginia Department of Transportation’s Fauquier County 2002-2004 Budget