Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Fauquier County Planning Commission

October 21, 2002

 Staff Lead:


Carolyn Bowen, Zoning Administrator

Community Development

Topic:  An Ordinance Approving the Amendment to Section 3-311.5 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance to Add Museums as Special Permit Uses in the Village, Residential-1, Residential-2, Residential-3 and Residential-4 Zoning Districts with Site Plan Approval, and Add Section 5-1107 (Additional Standards for Museums).

Topic Description:

The proposed Zoning Ordinance text amendments would allow museums to be located as a permissible use in the Residential-1 (R-1), Residential-2 (R-2), Residential-3 (R-3), Residential-4 (R-4) and Village (V) Zoning Districts as a special permit use.  Site plan approval would also be necessary if the Fauquier County Board of Zoning Appeals approves a special permit application.

The Zoning Ordinance currently permits museums with special permit and site plan approvals in the Rural Agriculture (RA), Commercial-1 (C-1), Commercial (CV) and Industrial-1 (I-1) Zoning Districts.  Museums are permitted as by-right uses in the Commerical-2 (C-2) and Commercial-3 (C-3) Zoning Districts following site plan approval.  The Planned Residential District (PRD) permits a museum as an approved secondary use, and the Planned Development Mixed Use District (PDMU) allows museums with special permit and site plan approvals.

This amendment would provide the flexibility to utilize existing historic structures in the Village and other Residential Zoning Districts as museums, where such a use currently would not be permitted.  The amendment also would permit museums to be located in the service districts where commercial or industrial property may be unavailable or too expensive for that undertaking.

Mandating special permit approval by the Fauquier County Board of Zoning Appeals would permit each application to be examined on an individual basis, as is presently required in the RA, C-1, CV and I-1 Zoning Districts.  The BZA would examine the possible effects of traffic, density, noise, hours of operation and other criteria upon nearby properties.  The site plan requirement would regulate issues such as lighting, landscaping, parking areas and screening.

The proposed additional standards would limit museums to existing historic structures in the Village and other Residential Districts.  Those standards also would limit retail sales to an accessory role and limit them to the interior of the historic and structure and be only for the benefit of the participants of the site. 

On August 29, 2002, the Fauquier County Planning Commission initiated these text amendments and held a public hearing for the proposed text amendments.  On September 26, 2002, the Commission voted unanimously to forward the proposals with a recommendation for approval.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Consider adoption of the attached Ordinance.


Financial Impacts Analysis:



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

Community Development 


1.  Ordinance