AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor:

 

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Planning Commission

 

November 10, 2004

Staff Lead:

Department:

 

W. Todd Benson, Assistant Zoning Administrator

 

Community Development

Topic:

 

An Ordinance Adopting a Text Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to Create a Purchase of Development Rights Incentive District within Service Districts

 

Topic Description:

 

The proposed text amendment creates a new overlay district which provides the opportunity for residential development, only within designated service districts, to apply for a density bonus through the special exception process in exchange for agricultural preservation, historic preservation, open space/park creation and/or transportation corridor protection.  The incentive bonus will be available only within service districts, excluding the village service districts of Calverton, Catlett and Midland.  Total density, with the bonus, is limited to that established by the Comprehensive Plan. 

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

 

Consider adoption of the attached ordinance as revised.

 

Financial Impact Analysis:

None.

 

Summary Staff Report:

 

The actual proposed ordinance language subject to the Planning Commission’s public hearing is attached with new language, subject to the Board’s public hearing underlined accordingly. Recommended changes added after the Board of Supervisors’ October 14th public hearing are indicated in red in the attached proposed ordinance. 

 

To summarize, the text amendment would establish a new overlay district which applies to all service districts except for the village service districts of Calverton, Catlett and Midland.  The purpose of the Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay (PDRI) is to preserve agricultural resources, historic resources, open space and parks, and opportunities for future transportation improvements.  The provision provides an incentive for residentially zoned properties within designated Service Districts to contribute to the stated objectives through the purchase of development rights, subject to standards and procedures established by the provision.

 

As proposed, the total density bonus for the project cannot exceed the number of development rights extinguished, nor can it exceed thirty percent of the base density, nor can the total density of the project, with bonus, exceed the maximum density established by the comprehensive plan.  Specific standards and procedures for the density bonus special exception are established in the ordinance.

 

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed ordinance on August 26, 2004 and voted unanimously to recommend favorably the proposed ordinance to the Board of Supervisors.  Following the public hearing and discussion at the work session, staff and the County Attorney's office recommended the addition of Subsection (4) of Section 4-805 which provides that the subdivision shall be clustered and provides guidelines for reduction of open space to accommodate the additional density.  The added language is underscored in the attached ordinance.

 

Staff also recommended that the title of the overlay district be changed as follows:  Conservation Easement Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay District.  Conservation easements are well known and well understood in Virginia; conservation easements are favored public policy.  Since a purchased development right is reflected through an easement, either title is accurate.  But only one is embraced as favored public policy.

 

At the October 14, 2004 public hearing before the Board of Supervisors, a number of issues were raised.  A principal concern was whether an easement could extinguish some but not all development rights.  For example, could an easement be used to extinguish (and used elsewhere) 10 of 20 development rights on a parcel.  It is likely that any Board may want to reduce most or all, but the final decision will be on a case by case basis. This is accomplished by a new Subsection 2 added to Section 4-803 as follows:  “The easement and a deed restriction limiting the potential remaining developmental density, if any, allowed on the property providing the easement shall be in a form acceptable to the Board.”

 

This language resolves two problems.  First, it allows the Board to determine how many, if any, rights remain within the easement. Second, it allows the Board to ensure the proper reduction of development rights are recorded on a parcel not wholly encumbered by an easement.

 

To encourage developers to place an easement on entire parcels, staff further recommends allowing the banking of development rights as follows:  “Not all extinguished development rights need be used at once.  A developer may bank them and use them within ten years  for another qualifying project or projects or sell them to a third party who may use them for another qualifying project or projects within the same  ten year period.”

 

A concern also was raised on how to measure the development rights extinguished through a conservation easement.  There are a number of ways this can be handled but, fundamentally, it is a legislative decision for the Board. One way is to give a basic credit using the same formula now used by the County in its Subdivision Potential Worksheet and its Purchase of Development Rights program.  This option was in the prior draft seen by the Board and remains in this draft as an option. 

 

Another option is to require field studies to ensure only real (as opposed to

potential) development rights are extinguished.  Credits would be based upon

“the same factors limiting developmental density as provided in the

Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance as well as the suitability of the soil

for drainfields.”

 

 

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

 

Property Owners

Developers

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

 

Extinguished Development Right Example

Proposed Ordinance Language

 


 

Extinguished Development Right Example - ATTACHMENT 1

 

PDR Overlay Example[1]An undeveloped R-1 zoned, 7 acre parcel within the New Baltimore Service District; designated and recommended as part of the “open space/green edge” and parkland within the adopted Plan.

 

Through this Conservation Easement Incentive Overlay District process, consideration for the builder’s planned parcel to be developed could be as follows:

 

A.     Property (Perpetual Conservation Easement; Sending Parcel):

 

R-1:   8 acres

Service District: Non-Sewered Area

Dwelling Unit or Lot Yield (8 acres x 0.9) = 7 lots

 

B.     Development Parcel (Receiving Parcel)

 

The Builder has located a 28.6 acre parcel within the Service District, with the exception that it is located in a “sewered area” of the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Special Exception Case Example:

 

  1. Parcel Total Acreage:  28.6 acres; 

 

  1. Cluster 50% Rule.  Residential and Open Space:  14.3 acres each

 

  1. R-1 Density (28.6 acres): .9 Dwelling Units/Ac or 25 Dwellings

 

  1. SE Bonus Maximum (28.6 acres):  7 Dwellings

 

  1. Total Parcel Lot Yield:

 

a.       By-Right R-1Density:  25 lots or dwellings

b.      Actual Cluster Design Yield (Due to site characteristics):  20 lots or dwellings

c.       Total SE Yield:  Cluster By-Right Yield (20-25), plus bonus (7) =  27-32 Dwelling Units

 

  1. Comprehensive Plan.

 

a.       Permitted Density for the Service District Plan: 1 to 3 Dwelling Units/Acre;

b.      SE Yield:  0.909- 1.112 Dwelling Units/Acre (identified in 5.c).

 

  1. Open Space Waiver.  This example could result in the Board of Supervisors reducing the 50% open space for proposed Cluster Subdivision as follows:

 

a.       R-1 Cluster Open Space Requirement for 28.6 Acres Parcel: 14.3 acres.

b.      7 lots through easement (7 x 25,000 square feet/lot) = 175,000 square feet or 4.0+ acres (plus, street extension/infrastructure).

 

Calculation:

 

50% Open Space Acreage       622,908 square feet or 14.3 acres

-Minus                                                -

6 Dwelling Lots                        175,000 square feet or   4.0 acres 2

Remaining Open Space        +447,908 square feet or 10.3 acres

 

Result: The cluster open space has been reduced from 50% to 35.9%; however, no net gain resulted in density within the Service District or its environs.  If the special exception density bonus were Board of Supervisors approved, then:

 

·        The designated “sending” parcel would need to have that its perpetual easement, eliminating further subdivision, recorded; and

 

·        The recordation must occur prior to the approval of the construction plans and final plat for the designated bonus parcel.

 

 

 

Attachment 2

 

ORDINANCE

 

An Ordinance Adopting a Text Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to Create a Purchase of Development Rights Incentive District within Service Districts

  

WHEREAS, Fauquier County has a key objective regarding the Purchase of Development Rights Program criteria and encourages continued donation of conservation easements; and

 

WHEREAS, that objective is also consistent with stated objectives and recommendations within the adopted Comprehensive Plan; and

  

WHEREAS, on August 26, 2004, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the issue and forwarded the proposed text amendment to the Board of Supervisors with a unanimous vote recommending its adoption; and

 

WHEREAS, on October 14, 2004, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on these amendment; and

 

             WHEREAS, the adoption of this text amendment would be in the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance, consistent with the adopted Comprehensive Plan, and is in the best interest of the citizens of Fauquier County; now, therefore, be it

 

ORDAINED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 10th day of November 2004, That of Sections 4-001 of Article 4 and 4-800 of Part 8 (new addition) of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance be, and is hereby, amended as follows:

 

 

ARTICLE 4

 

special and OVERLAY DISTRICT REGULATIONS

 

PART 0           special and OVERLAY DISTRICTS IN GENERAL

 

4-001               Special and Overlay Districts

 

For the purpose of this ordinance, the following special and overlay districts are established:

 

                        Planned Residential Development District (PRD)

                        Affordable Housing Overlay District (AH)        

                        Historic Area Overlay District (HA)

                        Floodplain Overlay District (FP)

                        Airport Area District (AP)

                        Planned Commercial Industrial Development District (PCID)

                        Planned Development Mixed Use District (PDMU)

Conservation Easement Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay District (PDRI) (CEI)

 

4-002               General Provisions

 

1.         Purpose and Intent -- Special and overlay districts as established thereafter are created for the purpose of imposing special regulations in designated areas of the County to accomplish the stated purposes that are set forth for each district.  Special districts are districts that are separately zoned and intended to allow for and encourage types of development other than that normally associated with conventional zoning districts.  Overlay districts, on the other hand, are not separate districts but are for the purpose of establishing additional standards and requirements which shall overlay and overlap all other zoning districts within which land placed in each district shall also lie.  As such, any parcel of land contained in an overlay district shall also lie in one or more of the other underlying zoning districts provided for in this ordinance.

 

2.         Establishment -- Special districts, overlay districts and amendments thereto shall be established in the manner provided for all the Sections of this ordinance below regulating such districts and by the procedures set forth in Article 13 of this Ordinance, unless such procedures are qualified or modified by the provisions of a particular special or overlay district as set forth herein.

 

 

PART 8           4-800   CONSERVATION EASEMENT PURCHASE OF             DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS INCENTIVE OVERLAY      DISTRICT (PDRI) (CEI)

 

4-801               Purpose and Intent

 

            The Conservation Easement Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay District (PDRI) (CEI) is established in order to preserve agricultural resources, historic resources, open space and parks, and opportunities for future transportation improvements.  More specifically, the objectives of the District are to further the County’s Comprehensive Plan by:

 

1.         Preserving agricultural uses outside of the Service Districts;

2.         Establishing a hard open space edge around the perimeter of Service Districts;

2.         Establishing parks and open space;

3.         Preserving valued historic resources; and

4.         Protecting future transportation corridors from encroaching development.

 

This provision provides an incentive for residentially zoned properties within designated Service Districts to contribute to the above objectives through the purchase of conservation easements development rights. Residential projects with the Service Districts may apply for a special exception for additional density in exchange for contributing to the above objectives through the purchase of conservation easements development rights, subject to the standards and procedures set forth in these provisions. 

 

4-802               Establishment of the Overlay District Boundaries

 

            The Conservation Easement Purchase of Development Rights Incentive District is hereby established as an overlay district in all Service Districts except the Village service districts of Calverton, Catlett and Midland.  The boundaries of the overlay district shall be adjusted to conform to any amendments to Service District boundaries approved by the Board of Supervisors through the Comprehensive Plan process.

 

4-803               Qualifying Purchase of Development Rights.

 

1.         Location.  Residential development rights must be acquired from properties in the RA, RC, R-1, R-2, R-3 or R-4 zoning district located within the service district, or contiguous to the Service District boundaries wherein the project seeking the density bonus is located.   Conservation easements on Development rights from properties any part of which is located up to 5000 feet from the Service District boundaries may be considered upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that the unique nature of the property on from which conservation easements development rights are being purchased contributes to the stated objectives because of size, view sheds, historic value or some combination of these factors.

 

2.         The easement and a deed restriction limiting the potential remaining developmental density, if any, allowed on the property providing the easement shall be in a form acceptable to the Board.

           

2.   3.   Incentive Items.  The purchase of conservation easements development rights must achieve one or more of the following objectives:

 

A.        Agricultural Preservation.    The purchase of conservation easements development rights results in the recordation of a non-common open space easement pursuant to Section 2-700 on an RA or RC zoned property at least 30 acres in size, which is designated in the Comprehensive Plan for rural use.

 

B.         Open Space and Park Land.   The purchase of conservation easements development rights results in the dedication of open space to the county or the recordation of open space easements resulting in the implementation of open space and linear park system elements adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan.   The open space provided must be in addition to the minimum amount required by the underlying district for the proposed residential development in the Service District, and the open space must be publicly accessible for open space and recreation purposes.

 

C.        Historic Resources.   The purchase of conservation easements development rights contributes to the preservation and protection of Fauquier County historical sites, as designated in the Comprehensive Plan, through the removal of all development rights on the parcels where historic resources are located. 

 

D.        Transportation Corridors.   The purchase of conservation easements development rights removes development potential from affected parcels within a transportation corridor identified in the County’s adopted Comprehensive Plan and  or which is part of the transportation must be part of the Board of Supervisors 6-Year Transportation Improvements program.  Such transportation improvements must be in addition to any transportation improvements in the project’s specific neighborhood which are required to support the proposed development.  

 

4-804               Calculation of Maximum Density Bonus

 

1.         No more than one additional unit shall be allowed within a project in the qualifying service district for each qualifying development right extinguished through the purchase of conservation easements development rights. The number of extinguished development rights shall be calculated by the Board based on:

 

Option 1: 

A.        the provisions of Section 2-308.2 and 2-308.3 for the RA RC rural zoning districts,

 

B.         the provisions of 3-401 and Section 2-308.4 for R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 zoned properties.

 Or

 

Option 2:                      The same factors limiting developmental density as provided in the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance as well as the suitability of the soil for drainfields.

 

2.         The total increase in units authorized under this provision for any project shall not exceed 30 percent of those allowed by the underlying zoning.

 

3.         The total density in any project, including the bonus density available under this provision, shall not exceed the density set forth in the Comprehensive Plan for that location.

 

4.         The resulting subdivision shall be clustered in accordance with the provisions of Section 2-406 of the Zoning Ordinance, except that the Board of Supervisors may reduce the open space required in the Zoning Ordinance to accommodate the additional density.  The open space reduction results from subtracting the cumulative acreage resulting from the added units, based on their designated minimum lot size established for the respective  and receiving zoning district classification, along with the associated public street extension or additions.  The open space shall not be reduced below that depicted in Section 2-406.2 (R-1: 25%; R-2: 20%; R-3 and R-4: 15%).

 

5.          Not all extinguished development rights need be used at once.  A developer may bank them and use them within ten years  for another qualifying project or projects or sell them to a third party who may use them for another qualifying project or projects within the same  ten year period.

 

4-805               Procedures

 

1.         No increase in density pursuant to this provision shall be established and no preliminary plat shall be approved reflecting such increase in density unless and until a special exception is approved by the Board of Supervisors granting such increase in density pursuant to the requirements of this provision.

 

2.                  The special exception application shall be filed pursuant to the

procedures set forth in Section 5-009 and the requirements set forth in Section 5-011.  In addition, the Zoning Administrator may require submission of any additional information required to determine the number of development rights extinguished in conjunction with the application.  In addition to the factors set forth in the above-referenced sections, the Board may  shall consider the existence of suitability of the soil for drainfields, and other factors affecting the development potential of the property in determining the number of development rights which are deemed to be extinguished by the easement relationship between the land proposed for the conservation easement and the land proposed for the density bonus and how the proposed easement and development affects the public health, safety, convenience and welfare of Fauquier citizens including the goals that residential areas be provided with healthy surroundings for family life, that agricultural and forestal land be preserved, that the growth of the community be consonant with the efficient and economical use of public funds, and that good zoning practices be followed.

 

3.         No final construction plans, final plat, infrastructure plan, utility plan, grading permit or building permit shall be approved for any project wherein a special exception has been granted for an increase in density pursuant to this provision until such time as recorded easements are in place extinguishing development rights on all properties contributing to the density bonus.

 

4-806               Standards for Approval of Special Exception

 

The proposed project shall conform with all applicable general standards set forth for all special exceptions in Section 5-006.  In addition, the following standards must be met in order for the Board to approve a special exception for a density increase under this provision:

 

1.         Each of the extinguished development rights proposed in exchange for the density increase shall qualify pursuant to the standards set forth in Section 4-803, above.

 

2.         The proposed project complies with all other requirements of the zoning ordinance, with no reduction sought by special exception for open space within the project except as provided in Section 4-804(4). 

 

3.         The overall project density is consistent with the Comprehensive plan and compatible with adjoining neighborhoods. 

 

4.         The road and street systems is are adequate to support the increased density, or appropriate road improvements are proposed and funded by the applicant as part of the development application.

 


[1]   Note that these calculations are approximate.  It is assumed that the minimum lot size (25,000 sq. ft.) includes streets.  Obviously, in real life, the square footage of the streets would have to be included when and where possible.  These calculations also assume no other factors negatively affecting open space requirements.

 

2 This lot total will also need to include the requisite street extension and infrastructure for the added bonus lots.