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Land Development

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Divisions of Land

Divisions of Land

Dividing or “subdividing” land in Fauquier County can be done through several different processes set forth in the Fauquier County Subdivision Ordinance and summarized in the table below.

Before you can divide property, a Subdivision Potential letter is required to be secured from the Zoning Office for all Rural Agriculture or Rural Conservation-zoned property or when dividing other residentially-zoned property using an administrative division process. Based on Zoning Staff review of the history of the property, this letter will establish the maximum number of lots, if any, that could be divided from the property and which division processes are available for the division. It is important to note that the maximum density noted in the Subdivision Potential letter is a theoretical maximum and that density may not actually be achievable on any given lot because of limitations such as drain-field sites, road frontage, floodplain or open space requirements.

For each of the applications listed below, a certified engineer and/or surveyor must prepare and submit plans for approval that comply with all County and State requirements.

Family Transfer

A Family Transfer Division can be utilized for any property that has a division available, IF the lot being created will be gifted or sold to an immediate member of the property owner’s family who is at least 18 years of age (child, grandchild, parent or grandparent).   The lot must be held by the family member for a period of 10 years, with this restriction recorded in the land records.   More information can be found in Section 3-2(B) of the Subdivision Ordinance. Family Transfer divisions are approved administratively, by the Chief of Planning.

Administrative Subdivision

If the Subdivision Potential Letter indicates that an Administrative Division is possible, then a parcel may be divided into two parcels using the Administrative Subdivision process.   More information can be found in Section 3-2(A) of the Subdivision Ordinance. Administrative divisions are approved administratively, by the Chief of Planning.

Large Lot Division

Rural lots (RA and RC zoning) of 150 acres or more may be eligible for the Large Lot Division process.   Lots created under this process must be at least 50 or 100 acres in size, depending on the history of the parcel.   More information about Large Lot Division can be found in Section 2-310 of the Zoning Ordinance.   Large Lot Divisions are approved Administratively by the Chief of Planning provided that all requirements listed in Section 3-2(D) of the Subdivision Ordinance have been met.

Preliminary Plat

Construction Plan

Final Plat

The Preliminary Plat/Construction Plan/Final Plat process is a three-stage subdivision process.  We encourage each applicant to meet with staff to discuss the project prior to preparing initial plans, and to schedule a Pre-Application Meeting with Community Development staff prior to formal submission of these applications.  At this pre-application meeting, staff will walk you through the application packet to provide guidance on submission requirements, procedures, and deadlines.

Preliminary Plat: The Preliminary Plat begins to define individual development lots and the infrastructure required to serve those lots (i.e., location of water lines, roads, and sewer lines, etc.).  More information about Preliminary Plats can be found in Section   9   of the Subdivision Ordinance.  Preliminary Plats are approved by both the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

Final Construction Plan: The Final Construction Plan contains much of the same information as a Preliminary Plat in significantly more detail.  The Final Construction Plan clarifies the details of the development such as final site layout, number of dwelling units, and landscaping. These plans include detailed grading and erosion and sediment control plans, stormwater management plans and calculations, detailed roadway construction plans, and utility plans.  More information about Construction Plans can be found in Section  10 of the Subdivision Ordinance.  Construction Plans are approved administratively.

Final Plat:
The Final Plat is the document utilized to create the individual development lots for houses. The Final Plat specifies exact lot and easement locations. Along with plat review, staff works with the County Attorney’s Office on the review of subdivision documents. More information about Final Plats can be found in Section 10 of the Subdivision Ordinance.  Final Plats are approved administratively.  Once approved, the plat must be recorded in the land records to actually create the lots.

Non-Residential Division

For commercially and industrially zoned properties, division occurs through the Non-residential Subdivision process, which follows the Administrative Subdivision process and is approved by the Chief of Planning.  Non-residential divisions must be preceded by a Concept Development Plan or a Plan of Development.  More information can be obtained by visiting Section 3-2(H) of the Subdivision Ordinance.

Boundary Line Adjustment

The Fauquier County Subdivision Ordinance also allows property boundary lines to be adjusted by vacating, relocating, or altering part of a valid and recorded subdivision plat.  Boundary line adjustments must conform to the lot size and frontage requirement of the zoning district.  This application cannot create an additional lot.  More information can be found in Section 3-2(C) of the Subdivision Ordinance.  Boundary Line Adjustments are approved administratively by the Chief of Planning.  Application for Boundary Line Adjustment.

Questions About Dividing Land?
Call Planning Staff at 540-422-8210


Date Last Modified: 07/31/2014


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