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July 10, 2020

166-lot New Baltimore subdivision plan rejected

The county supervisors denied the rezoning that would have added 18 lots to the 148 permitted “by right” on 112.5 acres at Broad Run Church and Riley roads.
The overarching point of having a comp plan is to protect the quality of life here. And based on the overwhelming commentary we’ve heard here, folks feel that this plan versus the by-right (density) we’re looking at is going to negatively impact their quality of life.
— Scott District Supervisor Holder Trumbo
Public Hearing
• Topic: Rezoning application to create a 166-home subdivision on 112.5 acres at Broad Run Church and Riley roads near New Baltimore.

• When: Thursday, July 9.

• Agency: Fauquier County Board of Supervisors

• Action: The board voted, 3-2, to deny the application.

• Length: About 46 minutes.

• Speakers: 15, with 10 supporting and five opposing the application; the county received two emails in opposition.

• Issues: Density, the comprehensive plan, service districts, proffers, school capacity, traffic, rural preservation.

• Applicant: Lakeside Homes LLC.

• Landowners: Lakeside Homes LLC, Homeowners Association of Brookside and James M. & Kathleen K. Rohr.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A divided Fauquier board of supervisors Thursday night rejected a controversial rezoning plan to create a 166-home subdivision near New Baltimore.

After a 46-minute public hearing, the board voted, 3-2, to deny Lakeside Homes LLC’s request to rezone 112.5 acres at Broad Run Church and Riley roads from one home lot an acre to four per acre.

Supervisors Holder Trumbo, whose Scott District includes the project site, Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall) and Chris Butler (Lee District) opposed the project.

Supervisor Chris Granger (Center District) backed it. Supervisor Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run District) voted against the resolution to deny the rezoning application because he hoped the applicant might agree to month’s delay to consider a reduction in the requested number of home lots.

Fifteen spoke during the hearing, with 10 for and five against the project. Thirteen appeared in the Warren Green Building to address the supervisors, while two opponents commented electronically.

The proponents who spoke included two project landowners and the project’s planning consultant.

Two opponents emailed their objections, which Deputy County Administrator Erin Kozanecki read during the hearing.

> Documents at bottom of story

The board has adopted rules for public participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for details about commenting electronically or in person.

The Broad Run Estates’ project raised a number of complex land-use and planning issues.

“I think a lot of valid points have been made here both ways on this,” Supervisor Trumbo said moments before Thursday’s vote. “I think reasonable people could disagree.”

But, he voted against the request because of his constituents’ “overwhelming” opposition to it, the Scott District supervisor said.

Explaining his decision, Mr. Trumbo talked about Fauquier’s comprehensive plan — a long-range land-use guide.

The document, which allows up to three building lots per acre at the Broad Run Estates site, “does plan for growth, but it doesn’t say when,” he explained. “You don’t have to do it right this minute to satisfy the plan.”

Mr. Trumbo added: “The overarching point of having a comp plan is to protect the quality of life here. And based on the overwhelming commentary we’ve heard here, folks feel that this plan versus the by-right (density) we’re looking at is going to negatively impact their quality of life.”

His constituents also have told him “consistently” that they prefer commercial to residential development because “they want our tax base balanced.”

The proposed Broad Run Estates project site has a by-right density of 148 potential home sites.

The application sought approval for 18 residential lots above that at the Broad Run Estates site.

The innovative proposal included 42 home lots that effectively would be transferred from nearby Ringwood Farm. Under the plan, an easement would be placed on the undeveloped 73.3-acre farm, limiting its development to one home site.

Three of the project’s properties — Broad Run Estates, Riley’s Estates and James M. and Kathleen K. Rohr’s land — lie within the New Baltimore Service District, where the county seeks to concentrate growth to make more efficient use of land and to ease development pressure on rural areas.

Ringwood Farm lies along Rouges Road, just outside of the service district. 

In many ways, the proposal would accomplish the county’s service district and rural preservation goals, Mr. Granger said.

Among other things, it would have shifted building lots from a farm and put it in a service district, where infrastructure — utilities and roads, for example — exist to accommodate it, the Center District supervisor said.

The plan also called for a mix of lot sizes and homes and a code of development that promised a layout superior to a by-right development design, recreation amenities including a trail, and land for “active” recreation.
He described the service district concept as central to implementing Fauquier’s comprehensive plan.

“If we’re going to have a comp plan that encourages growth in the service districts. . . we’re eventually going to have to do it.”

Under the proffered rezoning, the county would get $664,000 to help offset the project’s demands on the parks and recreation department ($3,500 per home lot) and the sheriff’s office ($500 per home lot).

“These contributions are generally consistent with the Capacity Triggered Capital Impact based on the County’s Capital Impact Model for the entire 166 lots at Broad Run Estates, with no deductions for the by-right or achievable densities on the other projects,” Fauquier’s Community Development Department staff report states. “It should be noted that no capacity impacts are triggered for Fauquier County Public Schools or the Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services.”

School officials project that over time the proposal would add 120 students to system.

Mr. Granger noted that nearby Kettle Run High, Auburn Middle and Ritchie Elementary schools easily could accommodate students generated by the Broad Run Estates proposal.

The applicant estimates its pledged improvements along a portion of Broad Run Estates road that fronts the project site would total about $1.5 million.

The application’s denial would mean the loss of the $664,000 cash proffer, Mr. Granger said.

He stressed denial also would mean that by-right development of 104 lots — including 62 at the Brookside Estates site — would proceed without the applicant’s proposed improvements along Broad Run Church Road.

“We can let it go by-right, and we’re going to get nothing,” Mr. Granger said.

Barbara Reed, who lives on Ringwood Road near Ringwood Farm, supported the rezoning application.

“I very much approve of moving the development rights over to the Broad Run Estates area,” Ms. Reed told the supervisors. “Ringwood (Road) is not designed for traffic. And the proposal to make the road improvements over on Broad Run (Church Road) makes more sense for the community — not just for that little area.”

Laura Wahl, who also lives on Ringwood Road, backed the proposal.

“While we can sympathize with the residents” that would be affected by the proposal, “one thing is clear,” Ms. Wahl said. “The Broad Run Estates neighborhood resides within the New Baltimore Service District, designated for development, and Ringwood Farm does not.”

Infrastructure exists there, “thus making it the proper location for the extra homes,” she said.

Mary Page moved to a property near the project site 20 years ago because of Fauquier’s rural lifestyle.

“I am in strong opposition to Broad Run Estates,” Ms. Page said. “And I am very concerned that if you deviate from the comp plan and say yes to this increased density and move from (one dwelling per acre to four) on this parcel, you are going to open up a land grab and a trigger reaction all up and down Broad Run” Road.

Other landowners will seek and expect similar treatment of their land, she suggested.

“It’s just going to rock us all,” Ms. Page said.

Chuck Floyd, a planning consultant who represents Lakeside Homes LLC, told the board that he believes the application in many ways complies with the comprehensive plan and satisfies county ordinance criteria related to rezoning applications.

The project would be served with public water and sewer, provide a cash contributions road improvements to help offset impacts, ample open space, land for onsite recreation, a trail, and horse trail easement on Ringwood Farm and “innovative” layout.

“It meets all the standards that I could find,” said Mr. Floyd, a former Fauquier County assistant zoning administrator. “I can’t find where I’m deficient.”

To help make his case, he reminded the board that Fauquier’s planning commission in December voted, 4-1, in support of the project.

https://www.fauquiernow.com/fauquier_news/article/fauquier-panel-backs-166-home-plan-at-new-baltimore-12-2019

Mr. Floyd referred to veteran Commissioners Adrienne Garreau (Scott) and Bob Lee’s (Marshall) reasons for backing it.

“For me, this project checks a lot of boxes,” Mrs. Garreau said. “It checks the box of the development occurring within the service district and removing it from outside the service district.”

The Broad Run Estates’ project sites will get developed “one way or another,” the commission vice chairwoman said before the vote in December.

“This is a much better layout in terms of land-use, in terms of what works in a community,” Mrs. Garreau said.

Planning Commissioner Lee agreed the Broad Run Estates proposal “does a better job” of implementing the comprehensive plan’s vision for service districts.

Mr. Lee also said the applicant’s $664,000 cash contribution would be unavailable to the county without the rezoning.

“We’re at least getting proffers that will help with recreation and law enforcement,” he said.

The planning commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, who have final authority.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.

Broad Run Estates Rezoning ... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Member comments
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Tony Bentley · July 13, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Truepat - those terms are across the country, old money/new money and local/outsider. I'm originally from the Midwest and all those distinctions exist even in the smallest of towns.
Tony Bentley · July 13, 2020 at 6:30 pm
PabloCruz - Where else are local, state, and the Federal government going to get money if not increase taxes? Infrastructure still needs to be taken care of even if we are in the biggest economic downturns in decades. Do we let dams go, do we let roads go, do we let bridges go? If not property taxes, then state and federal taxes, or sales tax. It has to come from somewhere!

Go to fauquier.com and ask Hope Porter what she means by "move afoot" and "aspg" by commenting on her letter to the editor.
PabloCruz · July 13, 2020 at 1:39 pm
“...there is a move afoot to artificially stimulate population growth in Warrenton.”
Please define the “move afoot” and who is behind it.
Please define “artificially stimulate population growth”

As for property taxes doubling or tripling next year, that is an absurd suggestion in the context of the biggest economic downturn in decades.



Linda Ward · July 13, 2020 at 12:49 pm
"Watch out property taxpayers in Fauquier County! There is a move afoot to artificially stimulate population growth in Warrenton.

The amendment to Warrenton Comprehensive Plan works like this: population growth = more school seats = higher real estate taxes for everyone.

Sixty years ago, when we were first confronted by artificially stimulated growth, it happened so fast that we didn’t understand the ramifications and the county as a whole was blindsided. Subdivisions were popping up helter skelter and real estate taxes were going through the roof.

The proposal to artificially stimulate population growth in Warrenton should be a concern of every real estate taxpayer in the county and to everyone in the town who is dependent on Warrenton’s limited water supply.

Hope Porter

Warrenton "

I expect real estate taxes to double if not triple next year to make up for the short falls from 2020. Hope I'm wrong!
Truepat · July 13, 2020 at 7:37 am
If you grew up here you would know the connotation of local/outsider, old money/new money......
brianroeder · July 11, 2020 at 9:40 am
Conditd: Thank you for your view. Everyone knows that the opposition always speaks up and shows up. That has nothing to do with the suitability of a proposal or the subjective application of the final board vote through the SE process.

Nor does it address the obvious and unspoken rule that almost all the Supes do not typically go against the District Supervisor's wishes so that they can horse-trade and get reciprocal treatment for their own projects.

I have been told that this is how it works directly by over half of them.

Anyone who goes against that unspoken rule with an application will fail no matter how much sense it makes. Our elected government in action. Moving on...
Conditd · July 10, 2020 at 7:59 pm
The boxed item says two emails in opposition, reading the BOS Public Comments there were probably 50 or more in opposition. Contrary to another poster, most were from families living in the area that would be effected by this change. Again Supervisor Trumbo has heard his constituents and worked to protect our part of the county. Thank you and those who voted with you.
brianroeder · July 10, 2020 at 6:40 pm
Mr. Trumbo & Mrs. McDaniels' overwhelming constituent opposition comes from the wealthy large land owners of Scott and Marshall Districts. That is who they listen to and with a third swing vote they always stop smart development opportunities such as this. Mr. Granger pointed out why this development makes sense. And what is crazy is that it is allowed - but it should not be allowed yet??? How does that work exactly?

Meanwhile Mr. Butler has his pet projects and doesn't want to rock the boat. They get what they want and he will get what he wants. Different day, same backscratching. Oh well....nothing new here...moving on.
Truepat · July 10, 2020 at 12:30 pm
Thank you Supervisors, Trumbo, Butler and McDaniel for representing the interests of the residents in voting down this ridiculous proposal. Mr. Granger must not be familiar with the school boards issue with holding school with the concerns of the virus with the students Kettle Run and Auburn already have.
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