Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

Virginia Electric and Power Company (Owner)/
Shady Grove Kennel and Hunting Preserve, Inc. (Applicant)


November 12, 2009

Staff Lead:  Holly Meade, Senior Planner 


Magisterial District:





Service District:

Remington (portion of property)


A Resolution to Approve SPEX10-LE-002 & SPPT10-LE-007, Virginia Electric and Power Company (Owner) / Shady Grove Kennel and Hunting Preserve, Inc. (Applicant), Shady Grove Kennel and Hunting Preserve to Obtain a Category 9 Special Exception and a Category 13 Special Permit to Allow for the Continued Operation of an Existing Hunting Preserve and Kennel 


Topic Description:

The applicant is seeking a Category 9 Special Exception and Category 13 Special Permit to allow for the continued operation of an existing hunting preserve and kennel.  The original Special Exception was permitted by the Board of Supervisors in 1990, renewed in 1999 and renewed again in 2002. 


The Special Exception was issued with the following conditions in 2002:

1.      The hunting preserve is to be managed by the applicant, Neil Selby of the Shady Grove Kennel and Hunting Preserve, who is the property lessee.  This Special Exception does not transfer with any change in management, nor does it convey with the applicant to other properties.

2.      This special exception shall be granted for a five-year period, with review and renewal subject to Section 5-012 of the Zoning Ordinance.

3.      The number of employees on-site at any time shall not exceed twelve.

4.      All dogs housed on-site and used for this operation shall be kept in kennel facilities, which are maintained in accordance with all applicable state and local regulations governing such use.

5.      There shall be on-site caretakers at all times as long as the dogs are kept on the property.

6.      The use shall be in general conformance with the proposed schematic plan submitted and on file with the Department of Community Development.

7.      All on-site facilities and operations shall be in accordance with all applicable state and local regulations at all times.

8.      Appropriate outward facing signage shall be maintained on all property boundaries indicating the use. 

9.      The hunting preserve shall be limited to bird hunting and the use of shotguns with birdshot only.

10.  The hours of operations for the hunting preserve shall be limited from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from September through April 20 of each year.

11.  The sporting clay facility is limited to one course with hours of operation from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

12.  A one hundred-yard buffer zone for safety shall be provided and maintained around all perimeters of the designated hunting preserve area.  All hunting activities shall be limited to the designated hunting area and prohibited from the buffer area, with the exception that preserve staff may enter the buffer area without shotguns to retrieve downed birds that fall within the buffer area.

13.  To properly secure the hunting preserve, the applicant shall place posts every fifty yards along the entire interior perimeter of the buffer area.  Each post shall contain a brightly colored sign indicating the presence of the buffer zone and that no hunting is permitted beyond that point.

14.  All lighting shall be back-shielded and downward directed to minimize off-site impacts in accordance with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.

As outlined in condition number 2, Special Exception approval was granted for a period of five (5) years.  Since the Special Exception has expired, the applicant is now seeking to be granted a Special Exception to allow for the continuation of their use. 

The applicant has stated (Attachment 1) that operations will continue as outlined in previous renewals with the exception of an additional manager, Leslie Carter.  In addition, he has asked that the time restriction be removed from the conditions.  The applicant has stated that the business has been successfully operating for nineteen years without incident or complaint.                         

The preserve releases quail and pheasant for hunting.  State law only allows this hunting to take place from September 1st through April 30th.  The applicable State laws regulating this activity are included in the applicantís statement of justification.  The statement indicates that all hunters are accompanied by trained dogs that are housed and trained on the property, and that hunting takes place only during the day and is restricted to shotgun use.  The statement indicates that all hunters are accompanied by trained guide dogs and that there is no hunting within 100 yards of any property line.

The application states that an integral part of the operation of the preserve is a sporting clay shooting course, and this is open for operation year around. The applicant asks that the clay course be allowed to continue operating from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. as outlined in Condition 11 of the 2002 Special Exception issued to the applicant.

The applicantís statement concludes by stating that with respect to noise, the design of the preserve, in conjunction with the presence of guides, minimizes the noise issues inherent in the operation of a hunting preserve by insuring that property lines and a 100-yard buffer zone are observed.

Site History:

As previously stated, the original Special Exception was issued in 1990, renewed in 1999 and again in 2002.  All three previous Special Exception approvals were issued for a Category 9, Outdoor Recreation, Special Exception.  Upon initial receipt of the current application the Zoning Administrator determined a Category 9 Special Exception was necessary to cover the hunting preserve (3-309.13) and a Category 13 Special Permit was necessary to cover the kennel portion of the operation (3-313.1).  The application has been amended to include the appropriate categories. 

In October of 1998, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors issued a Special Exception under Section 3-320.5 of the Zoning Ordinance to Virginia Power to construct and operate an electrical power generating facility on the 225 acre tract (PIN #6898-21-1913-000).  A Special Permit was issued by the Board of Zoning Appeals in February 2009 and a site plan is currently under review for the Dominion Virginia Power staging area (temporary material receiving and distribution facility) on the 44 acre industrially zoned portion of PIN #6888-83-5891-000.

The applicant also operates the reserve on an additional property owned by Old Dominion Electric Corporation (ODEC) containing approximately 250 acres under a separate Special Exception.  That Special Exception was last renewed in 2006 and expires in 2014 due to extensions associated with recent state regulations.

Location,  Zoning and Current Land Use:

The two parcels are zoned Rural Agricultural (RA) and Industrial (I-1).  PIN #6898-21-1913-000 contains approximately 225 acres and is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA) and is the site of the Virginia Power electrical peaking facility.  PIN #6888-83-5891-000 contains approximately 277 acres and is zoned a combination of RA (233 acres) and I-1 (44 acres).  The Industrial zoned portion of the property on this PIN is the site of the Virginia Power electrical power staging area.       

shady zoning.jpg

Surrounding Zoning and Current Land Use:

Surrounding parcels to the north are zoned Rural Agricultural (RA) and are used for agricultural, residential and industrial purposes.  Luck Stoneís crushing plant is located adjacent to the larger parcel.  Parcels to the east are zoned RA and are used for agricultural and residential purposes.  Land to the south is zoned a combination of Rural Agricultural (RA) and Residential (R-1) and used for a combination of agricultural and residential purposes.  Land to the west is zoned Industrial (I-1) and is the location of the former Trinity Plastics plant.  That property is currently being used by multiple users, such as Fast Fabricators and a stone mason product company.

Comprehensive Plan:

The larger of the two parcels (PIN #6888-83-5891-000) serves as the northeastern boundary of the Remington Service District.  It is planned for Industrial and Park/Open Space purposes.  Currently, with the Shady Grove Kennel and Hunting Preserve operation on these properties and the adjoining ODEC property containing approximately 250 acres, over 750 acres are being maintained as open space. 

shady cp.jpg

 Staff and Review Agency Comments: 

Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations. Findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below. Following each comment is a staff note in italics stating how the comment has been addressed.


1.      The properties are zoned RA/Rural Agricultural, except for the westernmost 900-1000 feet of PIN #6898-64-9191, which is zoned I-2 Industrial.   The proposed uses are allowed with a Special Exception and Special Permit on the RA portions of the property only.  A significant portion of the easternmost parcel (PIN #6898-21-1913) is located within the 100-year floodplain.  A small portion of that floodplain also extends into the second parcel.

No hunting is occurring on the Industrial zoned property.

2.   The following Zoning Ordinance standards are applicable:

Hunting Preserve

a.   5-006 General Standards for all Special Exceptions and Special Permits;

b.   5-901 Additional Standards for all Category 9 Uses;

c.   5-913 Additional Standards for Commercial Hunting or Fishing Preserves.


a.   5-006 General Standards for all Special Exceptions and Special Permits;

b.   5-1301 Additional Standards for Kennels.

Zoning Staff defers to Planning Staff for review of the standards, but would note that insufficient information was provided in the written routed materials to determine compliance with standards.

Planning staff has provided an assessment of the applicable standards listed below. 


Assessment of the aforementioned Zoning Ordinance Sections are listed below:

Article 5-006, General Standards:

General standards seek to ensure that the requested use does not adversely affect neighboring properties. The proposed use is located in a rural area on a combined 504 acres.  The business has been in operation since 1990 without incident or complaint.  The Special Exception was originally granted in 1990, renewed by the Board of Supervisors in 1999 and again in 2002.  The applicant is not proposing to increase the intensity of the use.

Article 5-901, Additional Standards for all Category 9 Uses:

1.      No off-street parking or loading space shall be located within fifty (50) feet of any adjoining property which is in a Residential District.

The closest parking/loading spot is over 250 feet from Lucky Hill Road which is the nearest property line.

Article 5-913, Additional Standards for Commercial Hunting or Fishing Preserves:

1.   Appropriate noise and safety buffers shall be provided depending on the nature and intensity of the use.

There is a one hundred yard buffer area surrounding the hunting preserve and adjacent to all property lines.  The buffer area is clearly marked and there is a condition of approval requiring such posting.

2.   For bird shooting activities steel pellets shall be required when circumstances warrant.

Lead bird shot is used for both bird shooting and clay shooting, except when shooting over water when steel is used. Staff has spent significant time researching lead control measures.  It appears there is very little information related to lead control on hunting preserves, unlike with firing ranges.  The applicant is prepared to address any specific concerns of the Board of Supervisors.  Staff would note that the preserve is licensed under the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Article 5-1301, Additional Standards for Kennels:

1.      The minimum lot size requirement shall be two (2) acres, except in the R-1 zoning district, where the minimum lot size shall be twenty (20) acres.

The parcel on which the dogs are housed contains approximately 277 acres.

2.   a.   In all zoning districts other than R-1/Residential, no structure for the confinement, care or breeding of dogs, and no associated structure shall be located closer than 75 feet to any lot line, except that this requirement shall not apply to structures which are completely enclosed, adequately soundproofed, constructed, and maintained so that there will be no emission of odor or noise detrimental to other properties in the area.

The kennel is over 400 feet from the closest property line and is not completely enclosed.     

      b.   In the R-1/Residential zoning district, all dog confinement areas and dog runs shall be located within enclosed structures, adequately soundproofed, constructed, and maintained so that there will be no emission of odor or noise detrimental to other properties in the area,  and no such structure shall be located closer than 200 feet to any lot line.

The property is zoned RA; this standard is not applicable.

2.      All dogs shall be kept in pens designed and maintained for secure confinement.

The dog pens appear to be maintained for secure confinement.  There is a caretaker on the property 365 days a year, 24 hours per day.  Pictures of the pens are included as Attachment 8.  The applicant states he has never had any problems with dogs escaping.

3.      In consideration of an application for a permit, the BZA shall take into account the numbers and kinds of dogs proposed to be kept and the characteristics thereof and may prescribe conditions with respect thereto.

The owner states he will never have more than fifty bird dogs kenneled at any one time. 

4.      Maximum of ten (10) dogs per acre.

As the owner has previously stated, no more than fifty dogs will ever be housed at any one time.  This has been included as a condition of approval.

5.      Waste from operations must be collected and contained so as not to pollute the environment.

The kennels are washed twice a day and disinfected once a week.  The Department of Health has offered no comment.  The waste is removed from the property and hauled to the County landfill.


No comment.

Erosion and Sediment Control

No comment.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

Staff has completed review of this submission of the referenced project. We find no proposed changes that will impact VDOT facilities so we have no concerns regarding this request for a special exception.

Parks and Recreation

There appears to be no effect on the recreational needs of the county, therefore the department has no substantial comments to submit at this time.

Emergency Services

This office does not oppose the special exception request.  No exceptions noted at this time.

Planning Commission Summary and Action of September 24, 2009:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at its work session.  A public hearing was held where only the applicant spoke.  The Planning Commission expressed concern regarding shooting guns over large areas of water.  It was clarified that state laws requires the use of steel shot when shooting over water.  The application was forwarded with a unanimous recommendation of approval, subject to a series of development conditions.

Summary and Recommendation:

If the Board of Supervisors wishes to recommend approval of the applications, staff recommends doing so subject to the conditions of approval contained in the attached resolution.  The conditions do reflect the changes requested by the applicant and recommended by the Planning Commission.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

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

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

Hunting Community
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries


1.      Letter Requesting Renewal

2.      Statement of Justification Dated 2001

3.      Clarification of Operations Statement Dated 2009

4.      Schematic Plan

5.      Preserve License from Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

6.      Aerial Photo

7.      Floodplain Map

8.      Photographs of Site


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