Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Fauquier County Board of Supervisors


December 9, 2004


Staff Lead:


Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning



Community Development


Magisterial District: Scott District


Service District:  Marshall







A Resolution to Approve a Category 20 Special Exception SE03-S-26 for the Northern County Sports Field Complex Water Storage Tank


Topic Description:

In February 2002, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors authorized the acceptance of a $10 million conditional distribution from the Paul Mellon Estate for the construction of the Northern Sports Field Complex and Park. The project is now in the Site Plan stage of development.


If approved, the applicant’s Special Exception request will allow the construction of an above ground water storage facility to provide a potable water supply for park users. The Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department would have primary responsibility for operation and maintenance of the water tank.  This facility is integral to the development of the Sports Complex.  The Site Plan cannot be approved without the required Board of Supervisors approval for the Special Exception.  Please note that the above ground sewer pumping station has been deleted from this project, and is therefore not part of this Special Exception.


In addition, Section 15.2-2232 of the Code of Virginia stipulates that “no public utility shall be constructed, established or authorized, unless and until the general location or approximate location, character, and extent thereof has been submitted to and approved by the Board of Supervisors as being substantially in accord with the adopted Comprehensive Plan.”  Following a public hearing on May 29, 2003, the Planning Commission made the determination that the proposed facility is in accord with the Comprehensive Plan. 


The water storage tank design will be a silo style and approximately seventeen and a half (17˝) feet tall.  The tank is proposed to be located adjacent to the park maintenance building.  It would be painted a color to blend with its surroundings and buildings.  The building will also screen the tank from view and additional plantings will be installed for screening.  The tank will provide sufficient potable water for park users (maximum daily attendance of 2,192 people).  Regarding the proposed location of the tank, the applicant’s representative indicates that soil borings and appropriate engineered design will be done to address the soil mapping unit 438A, which has a high shrink-swell potential and a high water table.  The foundation of this facility will need to be designed to overcome this potential.


On June 16, 2003, the Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing.  At that time, the Board postponed action pending receipt of additional Site Plan information.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


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


Staff Analysis:

Staff and 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 Comprehensive Plan

The proposed Sports Complex is currently not a feature shown in the Comprehensive Plan. On May 29, 2003, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing pursuant to Section 15.2-2232 of the Code of Virginia and has determined that the proposed facility is in general compliance with the Comprehensive Plan.

Requirements of the Zoning Ordinance

The Zoning Ordinance stipulates that “. . . if the proposed location of a Category 20 use is in a Residential District there shall be a finding that there is no more suitable site available for such use in a Commercial or Industrial District, except that in the case of electric transformer stations and telephone and telegraph exchanges or dial centers, there shall be a finding that there is no alternative site available in a Commercial or Industrial District within distance of one mile, unless there is a substantial showing that it is impractical for satisfactory service to be rendered from an available location in such Commercial or Industrial District.”        

Engineering Considerations

The wetlands cannot be disturbed without permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The wetland areas should be fenced or otherwise protected during construction of the pump station and water tower.


Planning Commission Recommendation:


On May 29, 2003, the Planning Commission recommended approval of this item, subject to a series of development conditions.  Planning Commission staff reports are available upon request.


Financial Impact Analysis:




Land Area, Location and Zoning:                                                    

As shown by the following graphic, the Sports complex site is located in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of the John Marshall Highway (Route 55) and Whiting Road (Route 622). It consists of approximately 88.67 acres and is within the R-1 zoning district.


Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:

Surrounding zoning consists of R-1 to the north; I-2, C-2, and R-1 to the south; RA to the east; and R-1 to the west. The area is moderately developed in a variety of residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial uses.


Summary and Planning Commission Recommendation:

While the application is not clear about the size (total volume or capacity of tank) or exterior appearance (color), the exact location of the water storage facility is known and these design and capacity issues can be resolved in the Site Plan process.  Staff has recommended that the water storage facility be designed to blend with the surrounding area and complement the proposed uses on the site and has suggested conditions related to these items. The applicant’s representative proposes to construct a silo styled water storage facility.  Since the proposed utilities are to be exclusively for the use of the Sports Complex, staff finds that there is no more suitable site available for such use in a Commercial or Industrial District. The requested actions are consistent with the requirements of Section 5-2000 of the Zoning Ordinance. Based on the foregoing analysis and public testimony, the Planning Commission has recommended approval of SE03-S-26 to the Board of Supervisors, subject to the following conditions:

The first four (4) conditions are from the Planning Commission:

1.      The wetlands shall not be disturbed without permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


2.      The wetland areas shall be fenced or otherwise protected during construction of the water tank.


3.      The foundation of the proposed above ground storage facility shall be designed and constructed to overcome soils with high shrink-swell potential and a high water table.


  1. The water storage facility shall be a silo design and shall have a physical appearance that will blend with the surrounding area and complement the proposed buildings and uses on the site.


Staff recommends the following additional conditions:


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


6.      This Special Exception is granted only for the purpose(s), structure(s) and/or uses indicated on the Special Exception Plat approved with the application, as qualified by these development conditions.


7.      The development of the property shall be in general conformance with the Special Exception Plat entitled "Special Exception Plan: Fauquier County Northern Sports Complex" dated November 22, 2004 and received in the Planning Office on November 23, 2004.


8.      A Site Plan shall be required, pursuant to Article 12 of the Zoning Ordinance.


9.      Prior to issuance of any occupancy permit, the applicant shall furnish evidence of Health Department or other required agency approval for the storage tank


10.  The operation, maintenance and testing of the water system shall meet all local, state and federal requirements.


11.  The maximum water storage tank height shall be seventeen and a half (17˝) feet.


12.  The maximum storage capacity will be consistent with the maximum daily attendance for the park (2, 192 people).



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

  1. Fauquier County Department of Community Development
  2. Fauquier County Parks & Recreation Department




  1. Applicant’s Statement of Justification
  2. Special Exception Plat
  3. Water Tank Schematic
  4. Comments from the Fauquier County Engineer