Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

William G. Downey, Scott District Supervisor


November 8, 2007


Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Resolution Initiating a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 5-1813 to Amend the Additional Standards for a Community Farmers’ Market


Topic Description:

The proposed text amendment changes the standards for a Community Farmers’ Market, allowing a larger building on a smaller lot with lesser setbacks.  It also would allow some percentage of products sold at a Community Farmers’ Market to be grown or produced outside the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the attached resolution.


Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Summary Staff Report:

Recently, the Buckland Farmers’ Market, now located just over the Fauquier County line in Prince William County, has expressed an interest in moving to Fauquier County.  They have found a property on Route 29 just north of New Baltimore owned by the Smith family.   The Smiths own and farm multiple properties in the area, with the parcel of interest being a 25-acre lot on the northwest side of Route 29, just north of the Riley Road intersection with Route 29.  The property is zoned RA/Rural Agriculture.

The farmers’ market would be allowed on the subject property as a Community Farmers’ Market by approval of a special permit, except that it cannot meet several of the standards for the use. The existing standards for a Community Farmers’ Market are listed below, with the proposed changes highlighted and discussed.

5-1813                         Additional Standards for a Community Farmers’ Market

1.   The minimum lot size requirement shall be one hundred (100) acres; multiple contiguous legal lots under common ownership may be utilized to satisfy the lot size requirement.  The requirements of this section shall not preclude the property owner from conducting compatible, Permitted Uses on the same parcel.  <While the subject parcel is only 25 acres, a contiguous parcel of 80 acres is under the same ownership, for a combined total of 105 acres.>

2.   The road frontage requirement shall be a minimum of 300 feet on a road designated as a major collector (or higher) in the Comprehensive Plan unless the Board of Zoning Appeals finds that the type and amount of traffic generated by the facility is such that it will not cause an undue impact on the neighbors or adversely affect safety of road usage.

3.   All open off-street parking and loading areas shall be no closer than 25 feet from any lot line.

4.   In addition to the allowed farm sign, one temporary, portable sign may be erected of up to 12 square feet in size and six (6) feet in height to advertise hours of operation and products available.

5.   The permitted activity is the use of any tract of land in a rural agriculture zoning district for the retail sales and preparation of agricultural products, horticultural products, aquacultural products, and hand made crafts.  Any other retail sales conducted on the property shall be accessory and incidental to the permitted activity.  Permitted accessory products shall be accessory and incidental to the permitted activity.  Permitted accessory products include pottery, baskets, garden accessories, baked goods, floral supplies and other similar type items directly related to the culture, care, use of, or processing of the principal use.  Products using electrical or combustion power such as lights, lawn trimmers, and tractors shall not be allowed.  Outdoor recreational activities such as corn mazes, hayrides, pumpkin patches or other similar activities which are dependent on the products being produced on site may be held in conjunction with a community farmer’s market if approved as part of a special permit application.

6.   Highway entrance shall be approved by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

7.   Sanitary facilities shall be approved by the Fauquier County Health Department.

8.   No structure used for or in conjunction with the use shall be located within 500 100 feet of any adjoining property located in a Residential or Rural Zoning District.  <The subject parcel in this case is only 260 feet wide, making it impossible to meet the 500 foot setback requirements from adjoining property lines.   If the Board is concerned about proximity to residential use, a standard requiring a 500 foot setback from any adjoining residential unit may be appropriate.>

9.   No more than one new structure shall be allowed to be constructed, not to exceed 2,500 6,500 square feet in size and shall meet all location requirements for the RA zoning district.  However, structures previously existing on the parcel may be converted to a farmers’ market use, regardless of size or number, if the Board determines the location, accessibility, and visibility of these structures is appropriate to this use.  <The owners of the Buckland Market need 6,500 square feet for the proposed market, and no existing buildings are located in proximity to the street that could be utilized.  Most other uses allowed in the RA zoning district do not have a size limitation on the buildings.  And, in fact, just down the road on Route 29 are two uses located in the RA district with larger buildings (Meadows Farms with about 6,500 square feet and the Golf Practice Facility, at about 5,000 square feet).  Much larger structures have been built elsewhere on RA land for uses in the RA district (i.e., Tri-County Feeds and the Culpeper Farmers Cooperative).> 

10. All At least 80% of the agriculture products, horticultural products, and hand made crafts shall be grown or produced within the Commonwealth of Virginia.  <The Buckland Market operators have indicated that they occasionally would want to offer products from outside the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to provide a full array of produce throughout the year.  They have indicated they could work with a requirement that 80 percent of the products must be from Virginia.  This proportion is consistent with the requirement for “Farmer’s Market” where only 80% of the goods are required to be produced in Fauquier County, allowing 20% to come from anywhere else.  It may be reasonable for the broader “Community Farmers’ Market” category to allow equivalent flexibility.”>


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

Department of Economic Development

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