On November 10, 2004, the Board of Supervisors postponed
action until its December meeting to allow the public
further opportunity to review the proposed refinements to
the Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment.
The actual proposed ordinance language subject to the
Planning Commission’s public hearing is attached with new
language, subject to the Board’s public hearing underlined
accordingly. Recommended changes added after the Board of
Supervisors’ October 14, 2004 public hearing are indicated
in red in the attached proposed ordinance.
The text amendment would establish a new overlay district
which applies to all service districts except for the
village service districts of Calverton, Catlett and
Midland. The purpose of the Purchase of Development Rights
Incentive Overlay (PDRI) is to preserve agricultural
resources, historic resources, open space and parks, and
opportunities for future transportation improvements. The
provision provides an incentive for residentially zoned
properties within designated Service Districts to contribute
to the stated objectives through the purchase of development
rights, subject to standards and procedures established by
The total density bonus for the project cannot exceed the
number of development rights extinguished, nor can it exceed
thirty percent of the base density, nor can the total
density of the project, with bonus, exceed the maximum
density established by the comprehensive plan. Specific
standards and procedures for the density bonus special
exception are established in the ordinance.
26, 2004, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on
the proposed ordinance and voted unanimously to recommend
favorably the proposed ordinance to the Board of
Supervisors. Following the public hearing and discussion at
the work session, staff and the County Attorney's office
recommended the addition of Subsection (4) of Section 4-805
which provides that the subdivision shall be clustered and
provides guidelines for reduction of open space to
accommodate the additional density. The added language is
underscored in the attached ordinance.
recommended that the title of the overlay district be
changed as follows: Conservation Easement
Purchase of Development Rights Incentive Overlay
District. Conservation easements are well known and well
understood in Virginia; conservation easements are favored
public policy. Since a purchased development right is
reflected through an easement, either title is accurate.
But only one is embraced as favored public policy.
October 14, 2004 public hearing before the Board of
Supervisors, a number of issues were raised. A principal
concern was whether an easement could extinguish some, but
not all, development rights. For example, could an easement
be used to extinguish (and used elsewhere) 10 of 20
development rights on a parcel. It is likely that any Board
may want to reduce most or all, but the final decision will
be on a case by case basis. As presented at the November 10,
2004 work session, this is accomplished by a new Subsection
2 added to Section 4-803 as follows: “The easement
and a deed restriction limiting the potential remaining
developmental density, if any, allowed on the property
providing the easement shall be in a form acceptable to the
language resolves two problems. First, it allows the Board
to determine how many, if any, rights remain within the
easement. Second, it allows the Board to ensure the proper
reduction of development rights are recorded on a parcel not
wholly encumbered by an easement.
encourage developers to place an easement on entire parcels,
staff further recommends allowing the banking of development
rights as follows: “Not all extinguished development
rights need be used at once. A developer may bank them and
use them within ten years for another qualifying project or
projects or sell them to a third party who may use them for
another qualifying project or projects within the same ten
also was raised on how to measure the development rights
extinguished through a conservation easement. There are a
number of ways this can be handled but, fundamentally, it is
a legislative decision for the Board. One way is to give a
basic credit using the same formula now used by the County
in its Subdivision Potential Worksheet and its Purchase of
Development Rights program. This option was in the prior
draft seen by the Board and remains in this draft.
As also discussed at the November work session, another
option is to require field studies to ensure only real (as
opposed to potential) development rights are extinguished.
Credits would be based upon “the same factors limiting
developmental density as provided in the Fauquier County
Zoning Ordinance as well as the suitability of the soil for
drainfields.” However, Option 1 (Subdivision
Potential Worksheet) was selected over the latter method,
which had been described as Option 2 in the work session
Chairman Atherton requested changes on December 2, 2004.
These changes are reflected in the draft ordinance in green.