By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
In their May 21st meeting, the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors approved an additional landscaping business to move into the county and also payment of a joint water authority bill.
Bella Terra Landscapes, operating in its fifth year, currently rents space in Earlysville but is looking to move to Paynes Mill Road in Troy. The owner, Tim Reese, is under contract for property on the road near Beaver Dam Baptist Church.
The business currently employs five, operates as contract landscaping and offers no retail operations. It does horticultural services and design. Reese lives in Lake Monticello and hopes to also build a home on the property in the future.
The business would include office space, covered storage and supply holding areas. The current illustrative site plan has the building being shielded by trees on all sides. The final site plan will have to be approved by planning staff.
Neighbors across the street, David and Pam Gregory, were two of the three people to speak during the public hearing. They gave concern of water usage and noise from delivery.
“I don’t think this is a suitable location,” said David Gregory.
Bob Ullenbruch (Palmyra District) noted multiple landscaping businesses the county has approved with more houses around, including two around Lake Monticello.
“We’ve approved all those and every one of them is in a high-density residential areas,” said Ullenbruch.
Previously the land was used for four trailers. The sales contract on the property is contingent on passage of the special use permit.
Reese will be restricted from using irrigation for long-term growing plants, like for a greenhouse, and operating a retail business. The business can irrigate plants short-term.
The board approved the special use permit, the first to be labeled in 2014, unanimously.
The supervisors also unanimously approved paying $150,000 to the James River Water Authority to move the permit from Fork Union to Columbia. While everyone voted for it, it was not with any enthusiasm from conservative supervisors Don Weaver (Cunningham District) and Ullenbruch.
Money was allocated from the county’s savings, referred to as the Fund Balance. The Fund Balance is currently less than a million dollars over supervisors’ self-imposed required level.
Board policy is to keep equivalent of 12 percent of the fiscal year budget in savings. Money is deposited in the Fund Balance from previous excess revenues or unspent money.
Ullenbruch is worried if the state budget stalemate goes into July, it will result in the county having to pay for items the state is normally responsible for.
“I want to be careful about expenditures until July 1 when we get a state budget,” Ullenbruch said.
Tony O’Brien (Rivanna District) questioned leaving Louisa hanging on an item the county committed to in the second half of 2013.
“I wouldn’t want to partner with me if every time we don’t show up to the table,” O’Brien said. “It is all coming down the stream.”
O’Brien also wasn’t worried the General Assembly would halt the operations of the commonwealth because of a disagreement between the political parties over Medicare.
Weaver was concerned the JRWA is going to keep costing money, which he was told by county administrator Steve Nichols that it would.
“I’m going to approve it because we have made a commitment.” Weaver continued, “It looks to me we are starting to get out of control.”
Just before the vote was taken, Weaver also said, “It is still my responsibility to pay the debts of this county.”
The Fluvanna Board of Supervisors next meet on June 4 at 4 p.m., with a work session to follow at 7 p.m.
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