Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

R. Holder Trumbo, Jr., Vice-Chairman, Scott District Supervisor


November 13, 2008

Staff Lead:


Andrew B. Hushour,
Assistant Zoning Administrator


Community Development


A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 8-1401 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance to Allow the Off-Site Location of Subdivision Signs


Topic Description: 

The proposed text amendment establishes provisions for the location of subdivision signs within right-of-way property owned by either Fauquier County or the Virginia Department of Transportation.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

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

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Staff Report:

Article 8, Signs, of the current Zoning Ordinance provisions defines a subdivision sign as “any sign displayed for the purpose of advertising or identifying a housing development or division of land of ten (10) lots or dwelling units or more.” These signs are permitted in the conservation, agriculture, village, residential and mobile home zoning districts and are further regulated in Section 8-1401.4 of the Ordinance, which sets forth the overall square footage, number of signs, and maximum height requirements for subdivision signs that are allowed by-right. However, as is the case with most sign types allowed in the Ordinance, subdivision signs are required to be located on the same property as the subdivision itself, such as on an individual dwelling lot or on other land area under ownership of the subdivision.

Based on these provisions, a subdivision that is remote in its location off one or more streets, or one that does not own property directly adjacent to a roadway due to public right-of-way locations, is unable to provide adequate signage identifying its location. An example of such a subdivision is the Lake Whippoorwill subdivision located off Dumfries Road/Route 605 in Scott Magisterial District. Although the subdivision is accessed from Whippoorwill Drive at its intersection with Dumfries Road/Route 605, there is no land area associated with the development in the immediate vicinity of the intersection due to the public right-of-way width of Dumfries Road/Route 605. Therefore, while the Lake Whippoorwill subdivision is allowed a subdivision sign by-right, it must be located further north on Whippoorwill Drive where it most likely would not be visible to vehicular traffic attempting to enter the neighborhood entrance from Dumfries Road/Route 605.

In order to accommodate the identification of those subdivisions that may be remote in their location off one or more streets, or those that do not own property directly adjacent to a roadway due to public right-of-way locations, the proposed amendment seeks to revise the requirements for subdivision signs to allow potential off-site locations. This is most similar to the current Ordinance provisions for directional signs, which are allowed off-site and are limited in the amount of allowable square footage. The amendment language as proposed will allow a subdivision sign to only be located off-site on adjoining right-of-way property that is owned by Fauquier County or the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The overall square footage, number of signs, and maximum height requirement will remain at their current amounts. In addition, any applicable proposal will require VDOT review and authorization prior to any County approval being given.  

The Board of Supervisors initiated the proposed text amendment on July 10, 2008 and the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the text amendment on August 28, 2008.  On September 25, 2008, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the text amendment as set forth in the attached resolution, including changes to the text to address Virginia Department of Transportation concerns.

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

Virginia Department of Transportation

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