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August 6, 2019

Arrington developer wants age restriction scrapped

The approved plan calls for a total of 228 homes — most of them age restricted — on 440 acres adjacent to Home Depot, just outside of the Warrenton corporate limits.
Impacts on schools are minimal, if you look at eight to 10 students per grade. Declining school population is leaving empty spaces in classes that still require (the) same number of teachers and staff.
— Center District Supervisor Chris Granger
Public Hearing
• What: Requested changes to previously approved rezoning, including removal of the 55 or older age restriction for 217 homes on the planned Arrington subdivision site along James Madison Highway (Route 29) at Warrenton’s southwestern edge. The project allows 228 homes.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8.

• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

• Agency: County board of supervisors.

• Applicant: Alwington Farm Developers LLC

• Landowner: Alwington Farm LLC, W. Boyd Laws.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The developer of a planned 228-home community at Warrenton’s southwestern edge wants a 55 and older age restriction lifted for most of the dwellings.

The change would apply to the Arrington project’s 217 homes along James Madison Highway (Route 29), between Alwington Boulevard and Lovers Lane.

The county board of supervisors Thursday will conduct a public hearing on that and other proposed amendments related to the previously approved but unbuilt subdivision. The board’s Aug. 8 meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Warren Green Building in Warrenton.

> Agenda at bottom of story

Removing the age restriction “will encourage a broader range of homebuyers/residents to populate the community, which enjoys a close-in location and excellent access to the Town of Warrenton and nearby county amenities,” Alwington Farm Developers LLC explains in a one-page statement seeking the change.

It also “will not change the interesting and varied farms and sizes of housing types which are governed by the (project’s) existing code of development,” according to the developer. “Based on the current county impact model, this change will not trigger any capacity capital impacts.”

Erasing the age restriction for the Arrington project would generate 167 additional students, according to the county school system.

It costs Fauquier $13,084 per year to educate a student, according to school officials. Adding 167 children to the school system would equate to $2.1 million per year in per pupil expenses.

“In addition to operating costs, new development creates an impact on capital costs for schools by absorbing capacity and for creating the need for additional capacity,” the school system notes in an analysis included in a county staff report on the Arrington project. “The developer should demonstrate how they will mitigate this impact on schools.”

Alwington Farm Developers has a contract to buy the 434-acre property from W. Boyd Laws. The board of supervisors in November 2015 approved a rezoning, special exception permits and other requirements for the subdivision.

Supervisor Chris Granger, whose Center District adjoins the site, “generally” supports the request.

“Impacts on schools are minimal, if you look at eight to 10 students per grade” generated by the project, Mr. Granger wrote in a text. “Declining school population is leaving empty spaces in classes that still require (the) same number of teachers and staff.”

He backs removing the age-restriction on 217 homes, “if we can keep the developer in a moderate” home price “range,” examine any impacts the proposed changes might have on infrastructure, including schools and roads, and “maintain” pedestrian access to the Warrenton Branch Greenway.

Opening the Arrington project to a broader demographic also would “reverse the rapid age-out Warrenton is experiencing,” he added.

Between 2010 and 2017, Warrenton’s 55- to 74-year-old population increased by 39.2 percent, according to a town report cited in a county community development analysis of the Arrington project.

That group jumped from 1,605 to 2,234 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

During the same period, the number of residents age 25 to 54 dipped about 2 percent, from 4,008 to 3,930.

Warrenton’s 2017 population stood at 9,875, the Census Bureau estimated.

“It is believed that this trend indicates that the town is not attracting young families with children, and that family-forming households bring a certain civic energy and vibrancy to a community,” the county staff report on the Arrington project added. “Further, it is believed that this trend could have implications for the future size of the labor force and local businesses’ ability to attract employees.”

The applicant believes “that removing the age restriction on the 217 PRD lots will help to offset some of these trends,” the staff report states.

The developer also proposes a $490,420 payment — $2,260 for each of the 217 homes — instead of the offsite installation of five ballfields, which apparently no longer would figure into the county parks and recreation department’s vision for the area.

At its July 15 meeting, the town/county liaison committee discussed a boundary line adjustment that would bring the Arrington site into Warrenton. The project will be served with town water. The committee, which includes Mayor Carter Nevill, Councilman Bob Kravetz (Ward 4), Supervisor Rick Gerhart (Cedar Run District) and Supervisor Holder Trumbo (Scott), also discussed the possibility of extending public sewer to the property.

In other matters, the board will consider whether to:

• Change the zoning ordinance to allow a single-family subdivision lot on agricultural or conservation district parcels put under non-common open space easements before Sept. 7, 1999. The parcels must meet various criteria, including one related to Fauquier’s 85 percent open space requirement.

• Pay three rural landowners a total $325,000 to “extinguish” 13 potential building lots on southern Fauquier farmland. Under Fauquier’s purchase of development rights program, the property owners will receive $25,000 for each potential lot they eliminate through deed restriction.

Approval of the three applications will result in the permanent protection of 398.7 acres from further development. Established in 2002, the PDR program so far has preserved 12,822 acres.

Contact Don Del Rosso at or 540-270-0300.

Fauquier Board of Superviso... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Member comments
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Linda Ward · August 11, 2019 at 8:27 pm
Donkey Farmer - No harm, no foul. I know you were kidding. I'm a stickler too, but my fingers don't always follow what my mind is thinking. Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite!
DonkeyFarmer · August 11, 2019 at 3:23 pm
Lol. I've always been a stickler for proper use of their, there, they're or your, you're. You would think with the incessant texts the kids would get it but they don't seem to. They have lost the use with shorthand and auto-correct. I was just kidding around with your post though.
Linda Ward · August 11, 2019 at 9:21 am
Thanks Donkey Farmer for keeping us straight, now go to job is done. I wish a comment could be returned to so the commenter could correct typos unintentionally submitted, yet unfortunately it doesn't work that way here at FauquerNow. Perhaps some day!
WilliamThornton · August 9, 2019 at 9:22 am
This is the life story of a fair and academic who was placed in an unthinkable position and worked for what he accepted was correct. This life story is particularly convenient as the Church is experiencing noteworthy progress with respect to its history, the web.
DonkeyFarmer · August 8, 2019 at 10:00 pm
*its. Possessive determiner, not a contraction of it is. You're welcome. I'm here all night.
Linda Ward · August 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Changing horse midstream is not advisable, someone is likely to get wet (the Town of Warrenton and it's infrastructure).
Rover 530 · August 7, 2019 at 11:35 pm
A deal is a deal. The developers agreed to age-restricted rules for the residential units. The town and the county planned accordingly. Not fair to change the rules after the permissions were obtained. approval will definitely overtax local utilities which will negatively affect Warrenton town and present out-of-town customers. This proposal blindsides the Warrenton Town Council. A dishonest business practice. I'm a customer and I care. 55 and over housing burdens county and town resources much less than open-age housing which may contain children entering the school system. Chris Granger gets a free ride this election cycle but his actions in this and other land-use issues may make his re-election chances less certain. The Board of Supervisors must vote NO on this proposal.
Virtus · August 7, 2019 at 8:36 pm
Agreed David. With $8 million in full capital impacts & $1.6 million in proffers the Board of Supervisors should vote NO!
David Norden · August 7, 2019 at 5:41 pm
For years the Town Council said no to extending water out of our corporate limits to this project and for years it was dormant because the land does not have enough ground water to support all these houses. Then a new Town Council came along in 2014 and decided to give the developers town water, giving them the lifeline they needed.

It was based on the houses being age restricted to 55 and older. Now the developers are back wanting that restriction removed and it appears from the article they already have the support of Center District Supervisor, Chris Granger. Removing the restriction will dramatically increase the amount of water usage from what the town planned.

Worse yet, there seems to be discussion of extending sewer out to the project too. This is the last thing the town should do. We do not have the capacity in our sewer plant to continue to take on this kind of unplanned residential development outside our corporate limits. The sewer plant in under a permit restriction as well as a deed restriction and can not be expanded where it is. It must be protected for the build-out of the town limits as they exist now. Just say NO!
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