By. Kara Pennella, Greene County Field Officer
Motion to approve 2010 Legislative Program – Approved
Request for a Special User Permit for a residential accessory structure greater than 768 square feet on 4.64 acres of land located on Spotswood Trail – Approved
Resolution to accept and appropriate $240.00 in grant funds for the Stanardsville Volunteer Fire Department – Approved
Resolution to accept and appropriate $50,000 in grant funds for the Sherriff’s Department – Approved
During its regular meeting the Greene County Board of Supervisors received its quarterly report from Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). David Blount presented the 2010 Legislative Program. The only public hearing of the evening was a request for a special use permit. Finally, the Board of Supervisors heard two requests for ordinance revisions from the public.
VDOT representatives reported that Bacon Hollow Road has been completed and the speed limit has been reduced on portions of Route 29N. They are currently working on a step down from 55 to 25 on Route 230 so that the reduction in speed is not so abrupt. VDOT has been working with a consultant on a traffic light for 607 and Preddy Creek Road. They may be able to do some preliminary engineering but there is no funding to go forward. Federal funding requires a 20 % state match which is unavailable right now. The Board is concerned because the County has about 1.6 million in proffers for the area that needs to be used.
David Blount, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission provided a review of the 2010 Legislative Program. He noted that not many of the agenda items had changed from last year. He expects that the legislature will have to start cutting funding from education to make up shortfalls. He predicted that this is will be the toughest budget the state has seen and expects that it will get worse before it gets better. After a brief discussion, the Board unanimously approved the 2010 Legislative Program.
In the only public hearing of the evening, Wendell & Janice Lamb requested a special use permit for the construction of a covered picnic shelter larger than 768 square feet. The lot is zoned residential, but currently doesn’t have a home on it. The Planning Commission recommended approval with some conditions including that it not be used for commercial or public events, restoration of a stream buffer, a 20 ft screening yard, no pipe will be allowed to drain into the stream, outdoor lighting will be mounted horizontal to the ground and applicant will submit a site sketch for parking. Applicant did not have anything to add to staff’s report.
One neighbor addressed the Board regarding his concerns that the shelter might be used for public events. He was not necessarily opposed to the project, but had some questions about the use of the structure and what would prevent it from becoming a commercial enterprise.
The Board discussed some of the proposed conditions on the special use permit. C. Schmitt wanted more stringent restrictions on the use. He proposed that the Board require that a majority of all persons using the property at any one time be members of the applicant’s family. He also proposed that they limit the time that applicant can use the shelter and place more restrictions on parking. B. Peyton felt that the conditions sufficiently addressed concerns about the picnic shelter being turned into a business. J. Allen was concerned about other things that the shelter could be used for that were not a public use but might be offensive to the neighbors. Both M. Skeens and S. Catalano felt that the conditions would address most of the neighbors concerns. B. Peyton moved to approve the request with conditions. The special use permit request was passed 4-1 with C. Schmitt voting no.
In matters from the public, Doug Watson a co-owner of the local BP Station requested that the Board consider amending the sign ordinance to include a grandfathering clause. He noted that he was having difficulty documenting whether his sign went up before the first sign ordinance in the county was passed.
S. Catalano asked the Board if they would like to revise the sign ordinance and opened it up for discussion by the Board. J. Allen asked staff how many noncompliant signs they had found in the county so far and out of these how many have already made changes to their signs to comply with the ordinance. Staff indicated they had provided notice of noncompliance to about 50 businesses and 30 of those have already made changes to their signs. The Board quickly agreed that it was unfair to revise the ordinance now when so many people had spent money and time complying with the ordinance.
Tom Burgess addressed the Board and asked what happened to a county wide leash law. The issue was discussed with staff who already has a draft ordinance and will schedule a public hearing.
Finally, the holiday schedule for the Board of Supervisors’ meetings was announced. The Board will meet only once in November and December. Those meetings are scheduled for November 10, 2009 and December, 8, 2009.