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April 15, 2022

Fauquier supervisors approve Van Metre’s plan for five-home subdivision in Marshall

The proposed development would take up 15 acres, or 14 percent, of the approximately 110-acre property. Residential developments cannot exceed 15 percent of the land if the property is over 30 acres in size, according to the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.
By James Jarvis
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The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a special exception that would allow Van Metre Homes to build a small subdivision in Marshall, an undertaking opposed by several residents.

During a public hearing Thursday, the board approved a special exception that would allow Van Metre Homes to build five new residential lots, three utility well lots and a residual open space lot at the intersection of Crest Hill Road (Route 647) and Lake Daniel Road (Route 863) in Marshall.

The proposed development would take up 15 acres, or 14 percent, of the approximately 110-acre property. Residential developments cannot exceed 15 percent of the land if the property is over 30 acres in size, according to the Fauquier County Zoning Ordinance.

The ordinance also requires the other 85% of the land be designated as non-common open space (undeveloped private property) to “help to protect environmental resources, steep slope areas, prime agricultural soils and forest lands, providing opportunity for future agricultural use.”

In addition to the residential lots, the three utility wells would be dedicated to the Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority to serve the Marshal Service District.

Nearly 85 acres of non-common open space, on the east side of Lake Daniel Road, will be designated as a private well and drain field. The county has also requested 8.62 acres, on the west side of Lake Daniel Road, be prohibited from residential development and considered a common open space lot (recreation space for the use of all residents).

Several Marshall residents who spoke at Planning Commission public hearing last month objected to the project and asked for more time to review the project, pointing to its potential to negatively impact traffic, the surrounding ecosystem and the county's rural aesthetic.

Margaret Cassidy, a Marshall District resident, told commissioners during the hearing that one of the main things she is worried about is the impact the development may have on the local land and wildlife. “I didn't hear any discussion about the impact it would have on the wildlife, on the water, on the birds, on the trees,” she said.

Sandra Rogers, also of Marshall, said she was concerned that another residential development in Fauquier would not only impact the local ecosystem but also ruin the rural landscape.

“We like the rural environment,” she said. “I understand that there has to be growth ... But why does there have to be so much growth all at one time?”

According to a report generated by staff with the Fauquier Department of Community Development, the proposed development is “consistent with the Comprehensive Plan” and “will protect Carter’s Run and its associated wetlands and floodplain.”

The report also stated the proposed development would not “hinder or discourage” the development of adjacent properties, diminish the value of surrounding properties, generate a “hazardous” amount of traffic or “deplete or degrade air quality or surface/groundwater quantity.”

Marshall District Commissioner Robert Lee, following the vote, said he believes the proposed development would be an “improvement” to Marshall because of its potential to drive economic growth and also “provide good drinking water for the community.” He said the commission takes the potential impact on the environment seriously.

Scott District Commissioner and Chairperson Adrienne Garreau said she too believes the development would not only add “a lot of benefit to the county,” but the area will still maintain its rural aesthetic because the county is putting a majority of the property into a conservation easement.

During the board meeting Thursday, Mary Leigh McDaniel said she thought allowing the special exception was a good idea “considering what could have happened.”

“In addition to that, it's going to go a long way towards stabilizing the water situation in Marshall, which has been problematic for 50 years and also giving us some redundancy within that water system, so I think that’s good” she said.

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Related: Van Metre’s plans for five-home subdivision in Marshall clear Fauquier County Planning Commission
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