Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Alioth and Gayle Glaettli, Owners/Applicants


December 8, 2005


Staff Lead:


Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning



Community Development


Magisterial District:


Cedar Run







Resolution to Approve SPEX06-CR-003: A Category 26 Special Exception to Allow for a Decrease in the Non-Common Open Space Requirement


Topic Description: 


The applicant wishes to obtain Special Exception approval under Category 26, which would allow for a decrease in the non-common open space requirement.  If approved, this Special Exception would allow subdivision of the parcel into two (2) lots. 


The Planning Commission held a public hearing for this request on September 29, 2005, and forwarded to the Board of Supervisors on October 27, 2005 with a recommendation of approval.


Project Information:


This proposal would allow for one non-common open space lot of 25.4812 acres and one 2-acre lot.  The property does have the subdivision potential for up to two (2) lots.  However, no subdivision can currently be allowed since the overall parcel is already below the required 85% non-common open space.  Thus, the need for this application.


The existing totals 27.482 acres.  In 1986, the “parent parcel” was 40 acres in size.  The subdivision potential uses the 1986 acreage to calculate the 85%; this would be equivalent to 34 acres.  Due to a family transfer and a boundary line adjustment in 1988, the residual property was reduced in size to 27.482 acres.  Hence, the need for the non-common open space reduction, which would reduce the 85% minimum to 63.4% (25.48 acres) of non-common open space, pursuant to Section 3-326 and the standards set forth in Section 5-206 of the Zoning Ordinance.


It should be noted that, in general, non-common open space parcels (residue lots) are deed restricted from further subdivision.  This restriction is highlighted since the applicant has inquired as to the possibility of future land transfers for children.  In this particular case, the 25.48-acre residue would be the non-common open space and therefore, not divisible in the future.  However, it could support a family dwelling unit, if Zoning Ordinance requirements are met, along with the existing house on the site.  The applicant needs to be aware that with the proposed conditions the residue could not be further divided.


The proposed reduction is allowed by the standards in 5-2601 upon a determination that: “the required amount is not necessary in order to protect the scenic, natural or historic resources contained on the site, in which case the open space may be reduced to that amount necessary.”


The applicant has provided a chronology of hardships over the past two (2) decades that have contributed to the need for this request.  In particular, the Statement of Justification notes that the potential sale of the 2-acre lot would provide for continued financial support for the owners’ elderly mothers who are both in poor health.  In addition, the owners are planning for their retirement and will need additional income to augment living expenses.


Land Area, Location and Zoning:    


The property is located on the west side of Greenwich Road (Route 603) at 8390 Greenwich Road in Catlett.  It is zoned Rural Agricultural (RA).  A portion of the parcel is within the limits of the Settlement of St. Stephens.  A map of the property is shown below.



Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:


The property is currently zoned RA (Rural Agricultural) and is bound by RA to the north; Residential (R-1) to the east; RA to the south and west.  Consistent with this zoning category, a portion of this property is located in a district that contains the areas where agriculture and forestry are the predominant uses.


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, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on this item and on October 27, 2005, they recommended approval, subject to the following conditions:


1.      The Special Exception is granted for and runs with the land indicated in this application and is not transferable to other land.


2.      This Special Exception is granted only for the purpose(s), structure(s) and/or uses indicated on the Special Exception Plat titled “Special Exception Plat, Decrease in Non-Common Open Space; The Property of Alioth R. & Gayle S. Glaettli, Tax Map #7913-94-4789-000” dated August 15, 2005 and received in Community Development on August 16, 2005, approved with the application, as qualified by these development conditions.


3.      The reduction of non-common open space shall be nor more than 63.5% (±25.48 acres) in order to create one (1) 2-acre lot.


4.      The residue parcel shall be deed restricted from further subdivision and the required non-common open space easement shall be recorded.


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. Staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below. The actual responses from referral agencies are available upon request.


Comprehensive Plan:


A portion of the parcel is located in the Settlement of St. Stephens, which is planned for “… in-fill and limited expansion of existing strip residential development into contiguous areas…”  The proposed 2-acre lot is located along Greenwich Road within the Settlement and across the road from several one-acre lots.


Zoning Comments


The Zoning Office provided the following comments:


1.               Pursuant to Zoning Ordinance Section 2-308.2, the 27.482-acre property may be divided into a maximum of 2 lots.  However, Section 3-408 further requires that 85% of the 1986 lot acreage (85% of 40AC = 34AC) be maintained in a non-common open space parcel. The open space requirement cannot be met because the lot has already been reduced to 27.482 acres. The applicant seeks an open space reduction from the 34 acres required down to 25.4812 (63.5% open space) pursuant to Section 3-326 and the standards set forth in Section 5-2601.


2.               The proposed reduction in open space would allow for a 2-acre lot to be subdivided from the 27. 48 acres leaving 25.48 acres for non-common open space.


3.                The proposed reduction is allowed by the standards in 5-2601 upon a determination that: “the required amount is not necessary in order to protect the scenic, natural or historic resources contained on the site, in which case the open space may be reduced to that amount necessary.”




The Engineering Department has reviewed the above referenced plan and has determined this project is exempt from Stormwater Management/BMP requirements set forth in the Fauquier County Stormwater Management Ordinance. This office has no other comments for this plan.


Summary and Recommendations:


At its October 27th meeting, the Planning Commission recommended approval of this item.  At the September Planning Commission meeting, this item was postponed for 30-days to work on project refinements.  Per the Commission’s request, staff reviewed the previous divisions on the property and the overall subdivision potential of the parcel.  There was no evidence found that indicated additional divisions are present on the property due to an error in calculation related to the past property divisions.  The subdivision potential letter from 2005 is accurate.  This letter indicates the parcel has potential for two (2) lots – one new lot and a residue parcel (non-common open space).  This proposal is consistent with that finding in that it seeks to create those two (2) lots.  Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors adopt the resolution to approve this application, subject to the aforementioned development conditions.   


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