Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Engle Homes Virginia, Owner

Dewberry, Applicant

December 14, 2006


Staff Lead: 

Melissa Dargis, Assistant Chief of Planning


Community Development

Magisterial District:
Cedar Run



A Resolution to Approve SPEX06-CR-025: A Category 20 Special Exception to Construct An Above Ground Water Facility and SPEX06-CR-018: A Category 31 Special Exception to Construct A Community Well System


Topic Description: 


The applicant seeks to construct facilities for distribution, treatment and storage of water for a proposed 30-lot subdivision.  The well facility (lot) and water system would be built by the applicant to WSA standards and then turned over to WSA for ownership, operation and maintenance.


The applicant has requested this Special Exception to allow for approval of a community well system to serve a proposed 30-lot subdivision.  This subdivision has a pending Preliminary Plat.  The applicant proposes Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority (WSA) to have oversight responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the proposed water system; therefore, this Special Exception will not be required if WSA takes over the ownership and operation.

Background Information:

The applicant indicates that the water storage facility will be similar to other WSA facilities in the area.  General components will be a well house/treatment building, a 5,000 gallon hydropneumatic tank, and a 122,000 gallon storage tank.

The applicant indicates the intention to size the facilities to serve 45 additional (future) lots to the south on other Village zoned parcels.  However, no applications have been filed for those parcels. 

According to the Statement of Justification, the nearest commercially zoned or industrial zoned land is approximately one mile away, thereby making its use for this facility impractical.  The primary and back-up wells have been located and drilled on the property.  Further, the applicant notes that the yield was sufficient to serve its subdivision as well as additional lots.


Land Area, Location and Zoning:    

The property is located at 10529 Old Marsh Road (Route 837) within the Village of Liberty.                 




Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:
The project parcel is zoned Village (V).  It is bound by Rural Agricultural (RA) parcels to the north and east; and V zoned parcels to the south and west.


Action Requested of the Board of Supervisors:
Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached resolution.

Planning Commission Recommendation:

On November 30, 2006, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on this item and voted unanimously to forward this item to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation of approval, subject to a series of development conditions.


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. Staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below. The actual responses from referral agencies are available upon request. 

Comprehensive Plan 

The Comprehensive Plan identifies the Village of Liberty as a Category II village.  Infill development and limited expansion are appropriate due to the proximity of the Bealeton Service District and development in that area.

The villages within the county vary in character among themselves and from other more urban related developments within the county.  The rural villages have, in general, a different traditional character from that found in relatively recent subdivision.  The reasons for their existence, social structure, needs for services, mix of uses and other characteristics are different. Thus, villages and the “suburban residential” portions of the service districts must be treated differently at both the plan and formation stage, and in designing appropriate implementation techniques.

Staff suggests provision of additional buffering (dedication) along adjacent Rural Agricultural (RA) properties to effectively create the hard edge for the Village. 


1.    There is to be no fill in the wetlands without a DEQ/COE permit.

2.    All structures are to be above the 100 year water surface elevation of the adjacent creek.

3.    No subsurface drainfield can be closer than 100 feet to the well.  Additional separation would be preferable.

4.    Of the 13 wells that were monitored during the pumping test, 12 were impacted.  The Hydrogeologist that performed the test stated that only one of these 12 was impacted “adversely”, but neither OMR-7 nor OMR-1 recovered completely 48 hours after the pump test ended.   

5.    The well that was “adversely” affected, the Robinson Sr. well is a 36 foot deep well in which the water level declined 15.65 feet during the pump test.  According to the report, the well on the Robinson Sr. property has gone dry in the past; however, this was typical during summer months.  This test was conducted on November 25, 2005.

6.    If this is not a public water supply, the following will have to be addressed:

a.             The addendum does not address that in the initial investigation neither OMR-7 nor OMR-1 recovered completely 48 hours after the pump test ended, indicating that water was mined from the aquifer.

b.            The EDR report included with the original Hydrogeologic Study lists several “orphan sites”.  An attempt should be made to locate these sites using current maps of the area.

c.             The original Hydrogeologic report refers to an underground storage tank being removed from the property.  During the removal, soil staining was observed.  Was any characterization done on this soil?  If so, please provide.

d.            Slightly elevated levels of arsenic were detected in samples from Well OMR-7; most likely due to the nature of the underlying formations, however, the water may need to be treated to be considered potable.  This information was not addressed in the “Contaminant Threats to Groundwater Quality” section, and no specifics on what this treatment will entail were provided in the original report.

e.             The Promissory Note from Engle Homes should include specific language on the well for Robinson Sr. being installed and connected.


The County Soil Scientist has been involved in the review of the hydogeologic report.  WSA has given its approval to the hydrogeolic study and is planning on taking the water system into its system (i.e. its going to be a public system).  According to Chapter 18 of the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance, if the system proposed is a public system, WSA has the approval authority, not Community Development. However, Emory and Garrett, will be submitting some materials to assist with a few comments from this office.  That information was not available at the time of preparation of this report.


Summary and Recommendations:

The County Engineer’s Office has expressed concerns related to water quality and type of water treatment in its recent set of comments.  The applicant has amended its hydrogeologic study report to reflect WSA comments and the amended study has been completed and reviewed by the County and WSA.  The WSA has also indicated, via resolution, its intent to take over ownership, operation and maintenance of this system.  Thus, the water system would be subject to all WSA standards, including treatment (potable water).  Based on the WSA’s ownership, the Planning Commission approved the Category 20 Special Exception, subject to the conditions noted below.  The Category 31 Special Exception for a Community Water System is not required since it will be a public one owned and operated by WSA.


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

Fauquier County Department of Community Development
Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority
Virginia Department of Health


1.      Special Exception Plat

2.      Statement of Justification

3.      Fauquier County Water & Sanitation Authority Letter


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