What should Fauquier County look like, and how should it be governed, 25 years from now? These were the questions the CFFC board put to its distinguished Task Force on Fauquier’s Future (TFFF) more than a year ago, in anticipation of the election/reelection of a highly-unified, forward-looking Board of Supervisors.
The Task Force’s answers, embodied in a 28-page report presented to the Supervisors during a series of late February meetings with CFFC delegations, were as follows:
…We envision a small-town atmosphere in well-defined and compact communities providing public safety, education, recreation and other services, as well as cultural opportunities for the entire population, while sustaining a strong agricultural, industrial and commercial economy….We embrace the carefully managed growth that underpins moderate taxation.
The TFFF’s report’s authors are former County Board of Supervisors Chairman Harry Atherton, former Planning Commission Chairman Jim Stone, and Rick Carr, the recently- retired Director of the County’s Department of Community Development.
The report focuses primarily on the county’s nine Service Districts (SD’s), emphasizing the crucial role they will play in accommodating the “slow and measurable pace” of Fauquier’s expected growth:
There are infrastructure and financial limitations on the ability of the Service Districts in the long term to attract a larger share of the County’s population and business growth. These limitations include, for example, adequate road networks, public water and sewer to serve the preferred and most cost-effective compact development and designs needed for our future. These challenges need to be resolved.
The technical addendum augments the report’s general discussion of needed public policy responses with a series of specific recommendations, grouped under seven headings:
- Public Water Supply
- Public Wastewater Treatment
- Service Districts
- Transportation Network
- Service District Densities and Hard Edges
- Historical and Cultural Areas
- Rural Areas
The technical addendum’s key recommendations include:
- More collaboration within the community, the incorporated towns, the County and FCWSA in the development, coordination and management of future public water supplies…[and] future public wastewater treatment
- Consideration and implementation of the County taxing districts and other essential financial options which make the developer and end user pay for the utility and new local street improvements needed …for specific areas within the Service Districts
- More assertive County collaboration with VDOT to ensure that state transportation planning and improvements are more context-sensitive with our town- and village-scale visions for our Service Districts and environs
- The establishment of practical guidelines and procedures that cover the discovery of archaeological elements during site construction and inspections for proposed private development within historic areas and Civil War Battlefield Core and Study Areas
- County initiatives to encourage the creation of regional or local infrastructure that can process cattle and other agricultural products
- Enhancement of County telecommunications regulation to assure clarity, compliance with federal requirements,…protection of historic and environmental resources…[and] adjoining landowners’ health, safety and welfare, while closing mobile wireless service gaps in our rural areas with by-right tower heights of 80 feet with flexibility to extend above a location’s established tree line subject to design guidelines.