By. Brent Wilson
At the January 22nd Greene County Board of Supervisors meeting, Jennifer Hinkle, Director of Greene County’s Region Ten Community Service, requested a rezoning of a 1 acre parcel from R-1 to B-1. The site has had a special use permit for usage of the R-1 class since 1981 and for many years housed a fitness center . The acre plot is situated in a residential area just east of Stanardsville off Route 33 Business on Lambs Lane. B-1 rezoning would allow a professional office to be located on the site. The Greene County Planning Commission had approved this request at its November 15, 2012 meeting .
Hinkle explained that VDOT estimates fewer vehicle trips per day.
The Comprehensive Plan supports business growth in the Stanardsville area. Region Ten has been in service to Greene County since 1972. The need to move locations is caused by the lack of space in their current facility which serves approximately 60 students and 40 adults.
Lisa Roberston, Region Ten’s attorney, spoke about Region Ten’s service to Greene. The request is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and Region Ten is a long time resident of Greene County showing an ability to coexist beside residential property. The current space for Region Ten has residential on two sides and the new space would meet most of the B-1 requirements in a residential area.
However, the majority of the speakers come out opposed to the B-1 rezoning for Region Ten. Wendell Lamb gave the history of the property, 17 acres, that dates back to his mother’s home. He got the special use permit for the fitness facility and then sold the business. He gave each of his children 2 acres of land around the facility and he still owns part of the property. His argument was – would you want Region Ten in your family plot when there are other places in Greene they could locate?
Several other speakers against the rezoning brought up issues of the B-1 class. There is not enough parking spaces, there is not handicapped parking for both levels and no elevator within the building, there is not enough set back, etc. Many believed this to be spot zoning.
None of the speakers against the rezoning spoke negatively toward the work Region Ten does, they spoke out against the location only. However, several speakers were both supportive of the organization’s work and the new location. In addition, Region Ten in Greene County provides space to the Food Bank in Greene County.
After the public comment, County Attorney Ray Clarke, reminded the BOS that this was a land issue and not specifically about the building on the site. The site review issues related to the building should not be considered. The question of spot zoning is valid only if the specific location receives benefit. If there are benefits beyond the specific site, then it is not spot zoning.
The BOS then spoke on the issues. Clarence “Buggs” Peyton (Stanardsville) began the discussion by stating that B-1 zoning would allow a variety of new commercial uses on the property (see page 29 of Greene County Zoning Ordinance ) whereas the SUP was for only the one use. He felt the Comprehensive Plan designated this area primarily for family development.
Supervisor Davis Lamb (Ruckersville) agreed with Peyton. Supervisor Eddie Deane (At-Large) stated he appreciates what Region Ten brings to Greene County. If the rezoning is approved then, Region Ten would have to deal with any non-conforming issue at that time, Dean suggested.
Supervisor David Cox (Monroe) had similar questions about what Region Ten would have to do to be in compliance. Chairman Jim Frydl (Midway) echoed Cox’s zoning questions and Greene County Planning Director Bart Svoboda answered that the current building probably is non-conformance as it stands today for B-1 zoning.
Peyton made a motion to deny the rezoning request which was defeated in a 2-3 (Cox, Dean, Frydl – No) vote. Cox made a motion to approve the request which passed 3-2 (Peyton, Lamb – No).
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.
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