Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Planning Commission


December 8, 2005

Staff Lead:



Frederick P.D. Carr, Director


Community Development



A Resolution Revising the Fauquier County Proffer Policy for Residential Rezoning Applications


Topic Description:


The Board of Supervisors Proffer Policy requires an annual review of the section associated with cash contributions per unit for residential rezoning applications.  This review has not occurred since July 21, 2003.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


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


Financial Impact Analysis:

The updated cost data for the Proffer Policy analysis is summarized and provided in the following attachments:


ü      Attachment 1-Schools

ü      Attachment 2-Parks & Recreation

ü      Attachment 3-Libraries

ü      Attachment 4-Emergency Services

ü      Attachment 5-Sheriff

ü      Attachment 6-Environmental Services


Special Information:


The Planning Commission conducted its public hearing on October 27, 2005, and forwarded the revised Proffer Policy at its December 7, 2005,  regular meeting to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation it be adopted as presented.  Note that the existing Proffer Policy (7-21-03) does not distinguish student generation rates for single family detached, single family attached or multiple family units.  It uses .75 students per household.  The Planning Commission reviewed and considered the table below which identifies the ratios used in some of the surrounding jurisdictions.



Other Ratio

SF Detached

SF Attached



Culpeper Co






Fauquier Co






Loudoun Co





LCPS,2005 School Census

Prince William








Summary Staff Report:


A.     Proposed Changes.  The last amendment to the Proffer Policy was adopted on July 21, 2003, and it allowed the Board of Supervisors to accept conservation easements as part of a rezoning application.  Since that time, both the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors have raised concerns over the escalating replacement and construction costs for public facilities in the review of the CIP and their impacts on this policy document.


With pending and approved residential project applications, the Planning Commission continues to view first hand the capacity issue and demands placed on our key public facilities associated with Environmental Services (landfill), Emergency Services (fire and rescue facilities and capital equipment), Libraries, Parks and Recreation, the Sheriff and Schools (elementary, middle and high schools).


The proposed refinements to the Proffer Policy are as follows:


ü    School Demand Generators.  The current cash proffers are provided at a lump sum $14,730 per residential unit.  The Planning Commission wanted to consider assessing that proffer in accordance with the unit type (i.e., single family detached, single family attached, and multi-family).  The Fauquier County School Board currently uses the following student breakdown per unit type, based on survey results:  single family detached (0.72 students/unit), single family attached (0.45 students/unit), and multi-family (0.20 students/unit). 


ü    Initial Payment.  If the rezoning project is in approvable form, the Planning Commission is recommending that the cash proffer be applied to the first residential unit. This change is significant.  At present, for example, if the site’s existing zoning allows 20 lots “by-right” and the proposed rezoning results in 100 lots, the applicant is not required to contribute cash proffers until the 21st unit.  The change represents the position that the rezoning increases both the scale and immediate impacts on public facilities already overcapacity.


ü    Indexes to Provide Some Protection to Escalating Construction Costs and/or Inflation.  The existing policy states that the “Proffers should identify an appropriate index, such as the Consumer Price Index to provide an adjustment for inflation.   The County staff is recommending that the Marshall & Swift Construction Cost Index be added and is preferred for applicant proffers since it focuses on actual construction costs.


ü    Residential Unit Cash Contribution.  The revised Proffer Policy as proposed is attached as the second document.  However, the following is a summary list of the proposed per unit change for cash contributions:



2002 ELS** per unit

2005 ELS**per unit







Single-Family Detached Unit



Single-Family Attached Unit



Multi-Family Unit






Parks and Recreation












Fire and Rescue

Emergency Services














not applicable

Not applicable




Environmental Services: Landfill












Adjusted Total



Single-Family Detached Unit



Single-Family Attached Unit



Multi-Family Unit










Enabling Legislation.  The Virginia legislature has three separate types of proffer legislation, which apply to differing localities statewide.  These categories are summarized below.

1.      The first category is commonly referred to as the “old style” proffering (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2296).  This category is wide open to a jurisdiction; anything may be proffered and it applies to very select number of localities:  Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County and Virginia Beach.  Under this type of conditional zoning, a developer/applicant may proffer anything to the locality without the requirement that the proffer need arises from the proposed rezoning.  An example could be a residential developer proposing to dedicate land and/or construct a commuter parking lot or commuter rail stop along the Dulles Toll Road.


2.      The second type of proffer legislation can be referred to as the “high growth” or “middle style” of proffers (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2298).    This enabling legislation is limited to those jurisdictions that had a population growth of ten percent or more from “the next to latest decennial census year,” also to certain localities which are located or adjacent to such a locality as defined in that section.  This code section allows these localities to accept proffers if:  “ (i) the rezoning itself gives rise to the need for the conditions;   (ii) the conditions have a reasonable relation to the rezoning; and (iii) all conditions are in conformity with the comprehensive plan as defined in 15-2-2223.” 


These restrictions are important since they limit proffers to impacts arising out of the rezoning application.  For example, to accept a cash or land proffer for schools, it must be theoretically shown that the development will need new or additional construction in that area of the county to serve that project, or that school seats will have to shift to another school as a result of the proposed residential rezoning.  In addition to the nexus standard, the Virginia Code also requires that the proffer of cash or real estate not be accepted until the project is shown in the jurisdiction’s capital improvement program.


3.   The third and final type of proffer is normally referred to as the “new style” proffering (refer to Virginia Code 15.2-2297).  This category is the most limited.  While it has similarities to the high growth proffering process and requirements, it prohibits cash contributions, mandatory dedication of real or personal property for enumerated uses, construction of off-site improvements or proffers not related to the physical development or operation of the property.


Fauquier County falls under the requirements of the high growth proffer category, and the criteria outlined in the previous section.  The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors enacted changes to the Zoning Ordinance on August 7, 1990 to accept cash proffers from applicants seeking rezoning approvals in accordance with the enabling legislation adopted by the Virginia Assembly on July 1, 1990.  

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

Board of Supervisors

County Departments

Development Community




  1. Resolution
  2. Proposed Fauquier County Board of Supervisors Proffer Policy Revisions
  3. Attachment 1-Schools
  4. Attachment 2-Parks & Recreation
  5. Attachment 3-Libraries
  6. Attachment 4-Emergency Service
  7. Attachment 5-Sheriff
  8. Attachment 6-Environmental Services

[1] Existing Fauquier County Board of Supervisors Proffer Policy (July 21, 2003)