Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Peter B. Schwartz, Marshall District Supervisor


November 13, 2008


Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Resolution Initiating a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Amend Sections 3-318.17-18, 6-102, 5-1810 and 15-300 Related to Farm Wineries


Topic Description:

The proposed text amendment amends the regulations related to activities at Farm Wineries, bringing the County’s regulations into compliance with the Code of Virginia and providing additional flexibility to wineries in order to promote their economic viability.  The regulations establish those activities allowed by-right at Farm Wineries and those requiring additional permits.  Definitions are provided to clarify provisions.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the attached resolution.


Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Staff Report:

In late 2007, Zoning staff began working on clarifying and changing the regulations in the Zoning Ordinance related to activities allowed at Farm Wineries.  The changes were intended to bring the County’s regulations into compliance with amended provisions in the Code of Virginia pertaining to Farm Wineries (Attachment 1) and to provide a clearer understanding of the regulations to wineries and winery neighbors.   The County now has sixteen Farm Wineries licensed by the state (Attachment 2).   In December 2007, Zoning staff met with representatives of many of these wineries to begin a discussion about revised regulations.  Since that time, the wineries have worked together to draft proposed revised regulations, and more recently, Supervisor Schwartz has worked with representatives of the wineries on refining Zoning Ordinance provisions related to Farm Wineries.

The draft proposed text amendment included in this initiation reflects this collaboration between Supervisor Schwartz and the wineries.  The draft is consistent with the limits of the Commonwealth’s enabling authority relative to the regulation of Farm Wineries, and, in fact, seeks to give wineries greater flexibility than is required under the Virginia Code in recognition of the significant potential benefit to the County of a thriving farm winery industry.    Limits and requirements are proposed to protect the public health and safety.

Zoning staff and Supervisor Schwartz have invited winery owners to a meeting on November 20, 2008 to further discuss the proposed regulations.  We anticipate continued input from wineries as well as from neighbors and other interested parties as the proposal moves through the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors’ public hearing process.


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

Residents Living near Wineries
Department of Economic Development


1.      Code of Virginia Provisions on Wineries

2.      List of Fauquier County Wineries

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