Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

James W. Ward, Jr. & Judy W. Ward, Owners
James W. Ward, Jr., Applicant


December 13, 2007

Staff Lead:
Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning

Community Development


Magisterial District: Cedar Run
Service District:




A Rezoning Request to Rezone Approximately 13.07 Acres of Land from Rural Agricultural (RA) to Residential (R-4) (REZN07-CR-003) and a Category 27 Special Exception for Common Open Space Reduction (SPEX08-CR-005) - Opal Creek, Cedar Run District


Topic Description:

This application is a rezoning request of approximately 13.07 acres of land from RA to R-4, with proffers, to allow for a 24-lot single family residential subdivision.  All lots will be over 5,000 square feet in size.  The proposed plan incorporates 6.88 acres of open space (approximately fifty-two percent of the gross site area.)  The companion Special Exception application requests a waiver of the requirement for three (3) contiguous acres of active recreation space as stipulated in Section 2-309.3 of the Zoning Ordinance.

The proffer statement indicates the development shall not exceed 24 single-family detached dwelling units.  The applicant has met the County voluntary proffer policy’s public facilities impact contribution for single family homes of $28,053 per unit, and has also proffered a transportation fund contribution of $4,000 per lot (for a total of $96,000) to the Opal Transportation Fund.  Payment of the proffers is proposed at issuance of building permit for each house.  Additional transportation improvements include frontage improvements, at the applicant’s expense, per VDOT for a 12 foot widening to Clarke’s Road and right-of-way reservation of 25 feet along the boundary of the project parcel to support a Comprehensive Plan Road alignment.


Land Area, Location and Zoning:  

The property is zoned RA and is located at 10012 Clarkes Road (Route 608), between Kirkwood Lane and Clarkes Meadow Drive.  A map of the property is shown below.                          




Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:

The property is bounded by Residential-2 (R-2) to the north; Rural Agricultural (RA) to the east and south; and Industrial-1 (I-1) and Commercial-2 (C-2) to the west.


Action Requested of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing on the proposed Rezoning and Special Exception and consider adoption of the attached ordinance and resolution.


Planning Commission Recommendation:

On October 25, 2007, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on these items and recommended approval of the proffered Rezoning and Special Exception, subject to a number of development conditions such as a requirement to preserve a portion of the existing vegetation within the wetland area that is subject to the Special Exception; requirement that the subdivision maintain the 50% open space requirement; and a condition that the Jurisdictional Delineation be revisited when it expires, provided the Final Plat for the project has not been approved.


Comprehensive Plan:

This site is in the Opal Service District.  The Opal Service District Plan (Plan) defines Opal as a community that centers on the intersections of Routes 17 and 15/29 that once had a dual role as a local and as a regional crossroad.  Its vision statement notes that Opal is to be designed to accommodate regional through-traffic on Route 17 and U.S. Route 15/29 and serve as a place for travelers to stop, shop and recharge.

The Comprehensive Plan designates this area of Opal for Low Density Residential (1 to 3 dwelling units per acre).  The Comprehensive Plan’s Chapter 6 provides the incentives to be generally provided with a rezoning to achieve greater density.  Residential rezoning applications are expected to be presented at the low end of each density range for the specified service district location.  In the Comprehensive Plan designated residential locations where low density development is proposed (1-3 dwelling units per acre), any application above 1 dwelling unit per acre must justify those increases with the:

1.                Provision of affordable housing (low/moderate income housing); and/or

2.                Elimination of lot subdivision potential through easements (Purchase of Development Rights) on: (a) Rural Agricultural (RA) and Rural Conservation (RC) zoned properties generally located within the service district’s magisterial district; (b) property designated as parkland or marked as a hard open space edge along the service district boundary within the service district plan; or (c) a critical future transportation corridor designated by the Board of Supervisors needing protection from further development; and/or

3.                Implementation of unique town-scaled designs consistent with the adopted service district plan; and/or

4.                Other combinations other than cash/material contributions to the needs of the County.

The applicant is seeking a density of approximately 1.8 dwelling units per acre.  This application does not address items 1 and 2 from that list.  It requests the R-4 zoning district because its bulk regulations allow for smaller lots.  Due to the development constraints imposed by the significant wetlands on site, the reduced lot size is the only way to achieve the proposed number and configuration of lots.  (The nearby developments of Willow Creek and Green Meadows were both rezoned to R-2 to take advantage of smaller lot sizes and to preserve wetlands and specific areas subject to flooding.)



The Comprehensive Plan shows that the proposed Opal Creek subdivision should incorporate a street that is identified in the Transportation Section of the Opal Service District Plan.  This road is planned as a neighborhood collector road.  Its purpose it to alleviate local traffic on Route 17 and U.S. Routes 15/29.  The county's traffic consultant has prepared the estimated ADT: The average daily traffic is projected to be 1,000 vehicles and the peak hour would be 100 vehicles.  The design speed would be 30 miles per hour minimum. Although this parcel represents only a portion of the planned road, it is a critical link. 

As proposed, the applicant has proffered the reservation of 25 feet of right-of-way for future dedication to Fauquier County to facilitate the connection to Clarke’s Road.  The applicant expects half of the road to be located on adjacent parcels.  Staff suggests that the entire required 50 foot right-of-way should be on the project parcel and be dedicated to the County by the applicant.  The applicant has proffered the right-of-way reservation for a period matching the adjacent Rider property’s proffers (a limit of 25 years).  The proffer statement further states that when a permanent roadway is developed during that period, the reservation shall become permanent right-of-way dedication.  The road is proffered to be constructed by others, not the applicant, but most likely the future developers/builders of the project parcel and the adjacent parcels.  Comprehensive Plan neighborhood connector roads are critical within the county within this Service District.

During the October Planning Commission work session, the Commissioners discussed the applicant dedicating the right-of-way rather than just reserving it.  No new proffers, to this effect, have been received.  However, the applicant’s representative has indicated that they are willing to continue to work on refinements with the Board of Supervisors.

Any transportation improvements on Clarkes Road, as required by VDOT, will be designed and constructed at the expense of the applicant. 


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.  Most recent staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are included in Attachment 5. The actual responses from referral agencies are available upon request.  A staff note in italics follows each comment and indicates how it has been addressed.

The project includes a companion Category 27 Special Exception application requesting a waiver of the requirement for three (3) contiguous acres of active recreation space.  The applicant proposes to save all deciduous trees with a caliper of greater than 2.25 inches and all evergreens over 6 feet in height that are located within the proposed open space area.  The subdivision does meet the minimum required 50 percent open space.  The applicant notes that approximately 6.29 acres of this open space is in a contiguous parcel; however, that parcel includes 3.68 acres of jurisdictional wetlands.  The wetlands do not count towards active recreation space, per the Zoning Ordinance Section 2-309.3.

Summary and Recommendations:

The Board of Supervisors will have to determine whether or not the applicant’s Rezoning and Concept Development Plan are consistent with the goals in the Opal Service District Plan regarding land use and transportation. 

The project includes a companion Category 27 Special Exception application requesting a waiver of the requirement for three (3) contiguous acres of active recreation space.  The Board of Supervisors will also have to make a determination on whether or not to grant this request.  Staff has included the applicant’s suggested Special Exception condition that the applicant, or its successor will revisit the wetland determination when the current delineation expires, provided that the Final Plat for Opal Creek subdivision has not been approved.


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

Fauquier County Department of Community Development

Virginia Department of Transportation


  1. Statement of Justification
  2. Proffer Statement
  3. Response to Comments
  4. Concept Development Plan/Special Exception Plat
  5. Referral Agency Comments

Back to Agenda...