Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Luck Stone Corporation – Bealeton Plant, Owner/Applicant


December 8, 2005


Staff Lead:


Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning



Community Development


Magisterial District:


Lee District







A Resolution to Approve SPEX06-LE-002, Luck Stone Corporation – Bealeton Plant; A Category 19 Special Exception Amendment to Change a Previously Approved Special Exception Condition


Topic Description: 


The applicant wishes to amend a previously approved Special Exception under Zoning Ordinance Section 3-19; Mining, Quarrying, Mineral Processing; which would allow the plant to operate for an indefinite period of time, with the applicant submitting documentation of compliance with all requirements to the Board of Supervisors every three (3) years.


Project Information:


On September 29, 2005, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on this item.  The hearing was closed and postponed to allow for a Planning Commission site visit (October 17, 2005) and Special Exception condition refinements. 


The applicant has worked diligently to respond to staff requests.  Several meetings were conducted with staff and Commissioners Meadows and McCarty to further refine the Special Exception Conditions.  In addition, staff had the County’s consultant; Emery and Garrett Groundwater, Inc. (EGGI) review Luck Stone’s groundwater monitoring regime and its hydrogeology reports.  The proposed conditions in this report now reflect that input.  The Planning Commission is scheduled to act on this application at its December 7th meeting.  Staff will present any changes to the proposed conditions of approval at the Board’s 11:00 a.m. agenda review on December 8, 2005.






Luck Stone Corporation was granted approval of a Special Exception (Category 19) for quarrying activities on November 17, 1987.  The initial Special Exception approval was valid for five (5) years with a subsequent renewal period of three (3) years.  On April 5, 1994, the Special Exception was amended to extend the renewal periods to twelve (12) years; renewal would also include review by the Board of Supervisors.  Thus, the current Special Exception’s twelve-year period would expire, or require renewal by April 5, 2006. 


The applicant proposes to delete the Special Exception condition referring to this time period for renewal/review and thus allow for an indefinite period of operation.  This provision would include language, via a condition, that a report would be submitted to the Board of Supervisors every three (3) years thereafter, documenting that the use of the property was in compliance with all Special Exception conditions, per Section 5-1903 (2b) of the Zoning Ordinance.


The Bealeton Plant parcel is approximately 392 acres in size.  Luck Stone has been operating in Virginia since 1923.  It has been operating in Fauquier County since 1987.  The applicant states it has established a very good track record over the past eighteen (18) years and that it operates responsibly.  Further, the applicant notes that Luck Stone Corporation and its employees have a tradition of community involvement.  The Bealeton Quarry has also been recognized for its business and operational practices with numerous industry awards.


This application request would not change any use or activities at the site.  The operational lifetime for the quarry, given today’s market conditions, is approximately 50 years.  


Land Area, Location and Zoning:    


The property is located on the southwest side of Marsh Road (Route 17) at 11603 Luck Stone Road in Bealeton.  It is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA) and Industrial (I-2); the industrial portion of the property is within the Bealeton Service District.  A map of the property is shown below outlined in orange.




Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:


The subject property is currently zoned Rural Agricultural (RA) and Industrial (I-2).  It is bound by Industrial (I-2) and Residential (R-4) zoned parcels to the north; I-2 and RA to the east; Residential – Manufactured Dwelling Park (MDP) and RA to the south; and RA to the west.


Action Requested of the Board of Supervisors:


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


Planning Commission Recommendation:


On September 29, 2005, a public hearing was held on this item and on December 7, 2005, the Planning Commission will consider recommending approval of this item, subject to the following conditions: 


1.      The Special Exception is granted for and runs with the land (392 +/- acres owned by Luck Stone near Bealeton, VA and the subject of a November 17, 1987 Special Exception approval “the Property”) indicated in this application and is not transferable to other land.  Review by the Board of Supervisors shall be required if operation of the stone quarry on the Property is transferred to a new quarry operator (hereinafter, the “transferee”).  A transferee may continue to operate under this Special Exception if, prior to the transfer, a transferee is determined by the Board of Supervisors to be an acceptable operator of the stone quarry located on the Property.  A determination of a transferee’s acceptability shall be initiated by a written request from the Applicant to the Board of Supervisors.  Upon receipt by the Board of Supervisors of a written request by the Applicant and required supporting documentation, the Board shall have 120 days to review the request and issue a determination as to the acceptability of a transferee.  Supporting documentation to be considered by the Board shall include: (i) a financial report that demonstrates a transferee’s financial ability to comply with all applicable rules and regulations, (ii) a letter from the state agency responsible for the regulation of stone quarries of up to three (3) states in which a transferee owns or operates a stone quarry facility, if any, indicating whether a transferee is in compliance with all applicable state rules and regulations, and (iii) a list of each locality in which a transferee owns or operates a stone quarry, if any.  This 120-day review by the Board of Supervisors is not intended to constitute a new Special Exception application, and approval of a transferee shall not be unreasonably withheld.


2.      This Special Exception is granted only for the purpose(s), and/or uses indicated in the original application that was approved November 17, 1987 and as shown on the schematic plan, Exhibit “A” submitted with the application for the November 17, 1987 Special Exception approval (“Special Exception Plat”) approved with the application and all purposes and/or uses shall be in general conformance with the Special Exception Plat, as qualified by these development conditions.


3.      This Special Exception shall be granted for twenty-one (21) years from the date of Board of Supervisors approval.


4.      Best Management Practices (BMPs) with emphasis on minimizing noise, dust, odor and vibration shall be implemented for use of all crushing equipment and associated equipment.


5.       Fugitive dust shall be suppressed by use of water spraying activities.  No oil-based products shall be used for suppression of fugitive dust.


6.      Access to be directly to U.S. Route 17.


7.      Associated uses such as asphalt and concrete plants to be located within the related use area to minimize impact on adjacent uses and appropriately screened as is necessary.  The determination of location and screening to be finalized during the site plan process.


8.      Normal hours of operation for truck delivery and pick-up limited to 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday thru Saturday.


9.      Truck deliveries and pickups, other than during normal hours of operations, shall be allowed for emergency situations, or for federal, state or local government projects or public utilities requiring off-hour truck deliveries or pickups.  The expanded hours shall not adversely impact the surrounding properties.


10.  Truck deliveries and pickups, other than during normal hours of operations, for exceptional situations, not categorized in the above item #8, shall be granted pursuant to approval by the Zoning Administrator.


11.  Blasting schedule shall be Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; except in the case when a blasting charge has been set before 5:00 p.m. and there is an unexpected delay (e.g. thunderstorms in the summer) that may create an unsafe condition.  In such a case, the Applicant may then complete the blast after 5:00 p.m., but no later than 30 minutes after sunset.


12.  All blasting shall be seismograph monitored.  Program to be approved by state or local government in conjunction with site plan approval.


13.  No bulk blasting materials shall be stored on the subject property. For the purpose of this condition bulk blasting materials shall mean those large quantities of blasting materials/agents that are currently delivered to the Property on the day of the blast.


14.  Operation of rock moving equipment from the quarry to primary crusher limited to between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday thru Saturday.


15.  Truck loads not to exceed legal capacity limits; except during a declared local, state or federal emergency situation.


16.  Upon request by Fauquier County, Luck Stone shall, at its expense, erect a street light to illuminate the entrance to the quarry on Route 17.


17.  Adverse impact resulting from a violation of any condition of the Special Exception, as determined by the Board of Supervisors based on competent analysis shall be the responsibility of Luck Stone to correct to the satisfaction of the County.


18.  The applicant shall develop and implement a long-term groundwater monitoring plan:


Concerns have been raised to Fauquier County regarding the potential long-term impacts that quarry operations may have on local groundwater resources.  The depth of the quarry pit is currently 80-90 feet below grade.  The maximum excavation depth is anticipated to be approximately 350 feet.  It is important to the local constituency and to the County that the excavation process throughout the life of this quarry does not adversely influence either the quality or the quantity of groundwater produced from existing residential and/or local community water supply wells. 


The Groundwater Monitoring Plan shall be prepared and include an assessment of the adequacy of existing monitoring wells (location, depth of construction, etc.), as well as a hydrogeologic assessment of the quarry and the neighboring area.  This associated investigation shall include the following work efforts, unless the Director of Community Development approves a change of scope:


a)       Assess on site hydrogeologic setting (through the use of geologic mapping, photolineament analysis, and/or geophysical surveys).


b)      Evaluate the local bedrock fracture fabric (identification of faults and other discontinuities in the rock that could be highly transmissive to groundwater flow).


c)       Conduct an inventory of local domestic wells, based on data from Health Department records, within 2,000 feet of the quarry operation and review construction details of the Marsh Run Mobil Home Park wells.


d)       Determine existing quality of groundwater from available existing monitoring wells.


e)       Assess the potential or existing impacts that pumping the Marsh Run Mobil Home Park community well has on the existing quarry monitoring wells.


f)        Evaluate the amount of water being pumped monthly from the quarry as a result of groundwater flow.


Hydrogeologic data collected as a result of these investigations shall serve to determine the most beneficial groundwater monitoring locations around the perimeter of the quarry and to develop an associated Groundwater Monitoring Plan.  It is anticipated that three to six new monitoring wells will be identified as a result of this investigation.  (Currently, there are no monitoring wells located west, south, or east of the existing quarry.)


The Groundwater Monitoring Plan shall be presented to Fauquier County within six months of Board of Supervisors approval of this Special Exception.  This Groundwater Monitoring Plan shall be reviewed and approved through the Department of Community Development and the County’s water resources consultant.  The approved plan shall then be implemented within one year of Board of Supervisors approval of this Special Exception.  Compensation for the County’s consultant’s review of the plan shall be borne by the applicant.


19.  Impacts to wells or groundwater in the vicinity of the quarry, as determined by the Board, and based on competent analysis to be caused by quarrying or associated usage shall be the responsibility of Luck Stone to correct to the satisfaction of the County.


20.  The owner shall submit, to the Board of Supervisors, once every three (3) years, from the date of Special Exception approval, a report documenting that the use of the property as approved by the Special Exception is in full compliance with all requirements of law and respect to the maintenance and conduct of the use, with all of the requirements and the standards of the Zoning Ordinance and with all conditions of the Special Exception that were designated in issuing the same.


21.  All local, state and federal regulations shall be met and the applicant shall submit this documentation every three (3) years to the Zoning Administrator to demonstrate compliance.  This shall include, but not be limited to, permit information, aerial maps from Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) annual submittals and any other pertinent data.


22.  Buffer to be left in a natural state except where berming has been approved in the site plan process.  Mobile home park buffering is first priority; berm to be competed, stabilized and planted within two years.


23.  The buffer between the related use area and the Mobile Home Park shall be a minimum of 350 feet and the berm contained therein shall be at least 25 feet in height.  Berming shall not cause increased flooding on adjacent properties.


24.  Security fencing shall be required on the perimeter of the site (pit) designated for quarrying activities.


25.  Any loose stone at the entrance on Route 17, in the crossover at Route 17 or in the acceleration/deceleration lanes shall be removed by Luck Stone on a daily basis.


26.  Luck Stone Corporation shall reimburse Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority (WSA) for any construction/relocation costs, if any, attributed to the quarry operation, upon determination by the Board and upon evidence by competent authority.


27.  If traffic generated at the Property conflicts with school bus operation at Liberty High School and the junior high school, out loading can be discontinued for a period of 30 minutes prior to school and 30 minutes after school is dismissed.  Determination to be made by County Board of Supervisors upon request of School Board or the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).


28.  All external lighting sources shall be shielded so that lighting is directed downward and source is not directly visible from neighboring properties and the applicant shall meet the standards set forth in the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance Section 9-1000: Outdoor Light Control and Section 9-900: Glare Standards.


29.  Associated uses in this permit shall include asphalt and ready-mix concrete facilities or a similar type of industry; new approvals shall be subject to determination of the Zoning Administrator and Site Plan approval.


30.  At the time the quarry is no longer in use, applicant shall grant a non-exclusive easement to the County to permit the construction and maintenance of a water withdrawal or intake structure(s) and water pipes to permit the quarry to be used by the County as a water reservoir.  The appearance and location of such structures and water pipes shall be mutually agreed upon between the County and applicant so as to avoid any adverse impact to the future development and activities on the Property.  In the event that the quarry is to be conveyed from the applicant after its use has been terminated and it has been reclaimed in accordance with applicable state and federal law and these conditions, the applicant shall afford the County a first right of refusal to purchase the quarry at the price agreed upon between the applicant and the prospective purchaser.  The County shall have 120 days to determine whether to exercise the right of first refusal.  The applicant shall enter into a written agreement with the County memorializing this first right of refusal, which shall be in recordable form.


31.  Final reclamation of the site shall not adversely affect surface waters or cause permanent reduction in the quality or quantity of groundwater reasonably available to future users.


32.  A detailed analysis of the impact of the encroachment of fill material, placed by Luck Stone, into the floodplain shall be performed by Luck Stone in conformance with County standards.  This study shall be submitted to the County for review and approval and then to FEMA for consideration.  The as-built floodplain analysis must be compared with the pre-developed flooding condition.  In general, the floodplain analysis should begin at approximately the confluence of Craig Run with Marsh Run and be computed upstream to the point at which the post-developed flooding condition ties to the pre-developed flooding condition.   The study shall be initiated immediately and submitted to the County for review within one (1) year of the Board of Supervisors action date.  Upon approval by the County, Luck Stone shall submit to FEMA within 60 days.


Staff Analysis

Staff and the 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. The actual responses from referral agencies are available upon request.  The majority of referral agencies had no issues with the proposed use of this existing facility; and therefore, had no comments.




The Zoning Office provided the following comments:


1.                  The applicant requests no changes to the existing approval other than an extension of time and elimination of any time limit on this and future extensions. Staff would note that the time limit serves two basic functions. One, it allows the Planning Commission/Board of Supervisors to evaluate compliance with conditions and requirements; and, two, it provides an opportunity for the Planning Commission/Board of Supervisors to review the use and add conditions and/or restrictions as necessary to ensure continued compatibility with surrounding land uses, which may change over time.


2.                    While zoning enforcement methods are available to ensure continued compliance with existing conditions (issue one above), eliminating any time limit on extensions would eliminate the ability to change conditions over time as surrounding uses change (issue two above).




The Engineering Department has reviewed the above referenced Special Exception amendment and has the following observations and comments:


1.                  Condition #18 of the original Special Exception Approval Conditions dated November 17, 1987, states the following: “Berming shall not cause increased flooding on adjacent properties.”  A review of the project file does not indicate that a floodplain study was ever completed to demonstrate compliance with Condition #18.  It appears as though fill material has been placed in the natural floodplain that most likely has affected the original flood carrying capacity of the natural floodplain.  Further, the official FEMA mapping of the floodplain has most likely been affected as well.


2.                  It is recommended that a detailed analysis of the impact of the encroachment of fill material into the floodplain be performed by Luck Stone in conformance with county requirements and submitted to the County for review and approval and then to FEMA to have the floodplain officially revised.  This will require that a detailed hydrologic and hydraulic analysis be performed on the Craig Run floodplain to determine the actual present day floodplain based on the as-built condition of the fill material.  In order to determine compliance with Condition #18 as stated above, the as-built floodplain analysis must be compared with the pre-developed flooding condition.  The floodplain analysis should begin at the confluence of Craig Run with Marsh Run and be computed upstream to the point at which the post-developed flooding condition ties to the pre-developed flooding condition.


It is strongly recommended that Item #2 above be made a condition of any action by the Planning Commission and/or Board of Supervisors (BOS).  Any such condition should require the study to be initiated immediately and completed within 1-year of the BOS action date.


Summary and Recommendations:


Staff asks that the Board of Supervisors either consider this item for approval, per Planning Commission recommendation, or postpone it to allow for additional refinements, including consultation with the County’s hydrogeological consultant.


The applicant has provided requested information immediately per staff and Planning Commission requests and has attended several meetings to work out project refinements.  At the time of preparation of this report, further refinements are underway regarding the conditions pertaining to a groundwater monitoring plan for the Luck Stone site.  In addition, the County Engineer has recommended a floodplain study be conducted and that it be a condition of the Special Exception.  This would require that a detailed hydrologic and hydraulic analysis be performed on the Craig Run floodplain to determine the actual present day floodplain based on the as-built condition of the fill material.  New information will be provided to the Board for its consideration.


Staff also asks the Board consider the Zoning Office comments regarding the basic function of a time limit when imposed on a Special Exception (i.e., potentially eliminating the ability to change conditions over time if a time limit is removed) when it determines the appropriate recommendation for this request.


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

Fauquier County Department of Community Development





1.            Special Exception Plat

2.            Statement of Justification