Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:


Various-See attached



December 9, 2004


Staff Lead:




Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator

Community Development




An Ordinance to Approve the Third Renewal of and Eleventh Addition to The Plains Agricultural and Forestal District


Topic Description:


On January 20, 2005, the Plains Agricultural and Forestal District expires.  The proposed Ordinance would renew the district for an additional term to expire on June 30, 2012. The renewal includes all existing parcels, 25 acres or larger in size, whose owners have not requested withdrawal, and would include all parcels under 25 acres whose owners have requested inclusion and have demonstrated compliance with the Board’s 1990 policy for parcels less than 25 acres in size.  One new parcel is being added to the district, at the request of the owner, in conjunction with the renewal.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


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


Financial Impact Analysis:




Summary Staff Report:


History of the District


The Plains Agricultural and Forestal District was created in 1981. At its inception, 51 parcels totaling 8,999 acres were included in the District. The District has been renewed twice, in 1988 and 1996. The district now consists of 123 parcels totaling 12,593 acres. On January 20, 2005, the District expires.




Renewal Process


The Code of Virginia establishes procedures for the review and renewal of local agricultural and forestal districts. The renewal process is intended to provide the local jurisdiction with an opportunity to re-evaluate the agricultural and forestal significance of the land remaining in the district, and to change or add conditions to the parcels in the district. The renewal process also provides landowners in the district an opportunity to re-evaluate their participation in the district; any landowner may withdraw their parcel from the district during the renewal process by written request.


Fauquier County has sent letters to all owners of property in the district notifying them of the renewal process and their options relative to the renewal.  Property owners may continue to make requests for withdrawals and additions up to the time the Board of Supervisors acts on the renewal.




Pursuant to the Code of Virginia, any landowner with property in the district may withdraw their land during the renewal process by submitting a written request for withdrawal. As of December 3, 2004, nine parcels with a total of 1061.98 acres have been withdrawn by the owners.


In 1990, the Board of Supervisors adopted a policy stating that parcels less than 25 acres in size will not be permitted within an agricultural and forestal district unless the parcel is under an open space easement, or the parcel is part of a working farm totaling more than 25 acres which are included within the agricultural and forestal district. Therefore, any parcel less than 25 acres will automatically be removed from the district during the renewal process, unless a landowner specifically requests that the parcel remain in the district and demonstrates compliance with the Board’s 1990 policy. At the direction of the Agricultural and Forestal Committee, staff has asked the owners of these smaller parcels to specifically confirm that they are either part of a working farm over 25 acres in the district or under open space easement.


Of the 123 parcels, 22 parcels are less than 25 acres. As of November 22, 2004, of these 21 parcels, 5 are being removed because no request has been made by the owner for inclusion, and 1 has been withdrawn by the owner.  The owners of the remaining 16 parcels have asked to be included in the renewed district, but of these, staff has not included the following parcels in the list of parcels to be renewed because the owner has not demonstrated compliance with the 1990 Board of Supervisor’s policy:


 PIN#                                   Owners                                    Acres

1.  6090-89-3729                    Peter D. & Linda D. Rich         21.06 acres

 6090-89-4240                    Peter D. & Linda D. Rich         11.98 acres


Mr. & Mrs. Rich have stated that their property is in an open space easement pursuant to the

 Virginia Open Space Land Act, but have provided no documentation to confirm this, therefore staff is unsure that these parcels comply with the Board of Supervisors policy.




The Code of Virginia also allows additions to be made to the district during the renewal process, up until Board action on the renewal.  As of December 3, 2004,  the following requests for additions have been received:


        PIN#                            Owners                                                Acres

1.         7000-55-1219             Andrea Currier/Kinloch Farm               152.5 acres


The application materials for this parcel are attached. 


Staff has recommended inclusion of the Currier parcel in the district.  It is located off Bust Head Road, north of its intersection with Hopewell Road. This parcel is part of a working cattle farm which includes ten other parcels already in the Agricultural and Forestal District.




The Board of Supervisors may place conditions on the renewal of any district. Currently, all parcels in The Plains Agricultural and Forestal District are subject to the following conditions:


1.  That pursuant to Title 15.1, Chapter 36. Section 15.1-1512(b) of the Code of Virginia   

    (1950), as amended, the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance shall apply, except as modified  

     below. These modifications are necessary to assure that the Ordinance does not conflict

     with the purpose for which the District was established.


     a.  All uses allowed by right in the applicable zoning district(s) for each parcel listed in this

          Ordinance shall require a special exception except that farming uses and single family

          dwellings on a legally recorded parcel of record shall be permitted by right.


     b.  Subdivisions of land as defined in Article 2-39 of the Fauquier County Subdivision

          Ordinance are not permitted.


    c.   No special exception shall be in conflict with the purposes for which the District was



2. That these parcels shall qualify for land use value assessment provided that the parcels

    meet the criteria of Section 58.1-3229 and 58.1-3244 of the Code of Virginia.


3. That the owners of land within the District shall not terminate the District except as

    provided for in Section 15.1-1511(e) of the Code of Virginia.


4.  That lawful termination of any owner’s association in the district shall not serve to  

terminate the existence of the district, but the district shall continue in effect until the review required by Section 15.1-1511 (e) of the Code of Virginia.


In addition, recent additions to the district have had these additional conditions placed on them:


1.  If a parcel is sold, it is to be withdrawn from the District


2. If a parcel is sold, divided or boundary adjusted to below 25 acres, it is to be withdrawn  

    from the District.


Agricultural and Forestal Advisory Board and Planning Commission Review


The Agricultural and Forestal Advisory Board and the Planning Commission have both met to review this renewal and application for addition to the District. These bodies are charged with advising the Board of Supervisors regarding the renewal of and additions to agricultural and forestal districts. The Committee and Planning Commission recommended that the district be renewed, subject to the conditions recommended by staff. The Committee asked staff to follow up with additional review of parcels less than 25 acres, to ensure that owners of such parcels meet the criteria established by the Board of Supervisors in 1990.  Staff has carefully reviewed the smaller parcels recommended for inclusion to ensure they do meet the policy.


Staff Recommendation:


The staff recommended conditions are incorporated into the attached Ordinance.


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

Commissioner of the Revenue

Agricultural Development Office



1.                  List of Parcels in District with Status

2.                  Copy of Application for new addition

3.                  Proposed Ordinance