Fauquier County

The following email alert went out to our Fauquier County email list on December 9, 2013.


Piedmont Environmental Council

There's a lot going on



Fauquier Farm in Winter
Photo by Scott Filling

Happy 2013! We had a busy 2012, but the new year brings its own challenges, many of which you should be aware of as Fauquier County residents.


First I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Julie Bolthouse and I am The Piedmont Environmental Council’s new Fauquier County Land Use Officer. My role is to keep you informed and help you become engaged on local land use issues. Diana Norris, the former Fauquier Land Use Officer, is still around but has moved to a position as our legal advisor on land use policy for our nine county region.


What to expect in 2013

Fauquier is a unique place with a lot to offer residents and visitors but it takes thoughtful planning and community engagement to maintain this unique character. Below are some initiatives that Fauquier County planning staff have said they will be working on this year. I'll be tracking these and other issues and providing input from PEC:


  • Updating the Rural Land Use Plan: At the beginning of the year the county will be initiating a study of Fauquier's rural economy, focusing on agriculture and agri-tourism. Once the study is complete the planning staff plans to host at least three work sessions in different areas of the county to gather community input.
  • A new road network and land use plan for Opal: Residents of Opal are encouraged to participate in meetings of the Opal Service District Committee. The next meeting is January 22nd at 8:30 a.m. at the the Warren Green Building. After the committee drafts recommendations there will be community meetings to gather public input on their findings.
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    A new road network plan and land use plan for New Baltimore: The New Baltimore Service District Citizen Planning Committee has met several times in 2012 and will be finalizing their recommendation for a new road network early in 2013. Once finalized, residents will have an opportunity to comment.
  • Changes to Fauquier's Telecommunication Ordinance: The changes are meant to be a minor update that modernizes the language to deal with new technology -- but aspects like height, scope, and placement of facilities are likely to be discussed.
  • Changes to the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance: Fauquier currently allows, by special exception, buildings existing prior to 1940 to be used for retail shops, art and craft galleries, offices, restaurants, inns or boarding houses, and multi-family uses. We believe the proposed changes to the ordinance could significantly weaken rural zoning and allow more scattered development outside of Fauquier's service districts. Read more>>
  • Updating of the Physical Characteristics & Natural and Historic Resources Plan: This section of the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan covers a wide spectrum of features including watersheds, groundwater supplies and protection, sewerage limitation, scenic areas, and historical features.


I will be following all of these planning efforts -- if you are interested in any particular ones, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so I can notify you about upcoming meetings and opportunities to comment.



You may have also heard about House Bill 1430 also known as “The Boneta Bill” and have some concerns. It was on the front page of the Fauquier Times Democrat today and also covered by Fauquier Now. The bill is an attempt to greenlight commercial activity in the rural areas without any county oversight and is an attack on rural zoning in general. Look for more information from us about this bill in Dan Holmes' upcoming legislative update email.


A bit about me


I have worked for PEC since 2010 as the Land Use Coordinator. I assisted with Fauquier issues, working closely with County officials and community organizations on a range of local issues -- from the County’s Comprehensive Plan to individual applications for development.

A lifelong resident of Virginia, I have lived throughout the region. I am a graduate of Clarke County High School and attended Virginia Tech for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I hold two masters degrees -- one in Urban Affairs and Planning and the other in Natural Resources.

I'm very excited to be working in Fauquier and look forward to meeting you in person. If you have any questions, email is a great way of contacting me. I'm also available by phone at our Warrenton office.

Kind regards,

Julie Bolthouse
Fauquier County Land Use Officer
Piedmont Environmental Council
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
540-347-2334 ext.14

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The Piedmont Environmental Council | P.O. Box 460, Warrenton, VA 20188 | (540) 347-2334



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