Tourism Growth in Greene County

By. Brent Wilson, Field clip_image002Officer

The Greene County Planning Commission considered a request for a  special use permit (SUP) for a Bed & Breakfast with Cabins on Route 33 west of Stanardsville at Mutton Hollow Road.  The property (3526 Mutton Hollow Road, 18-(A)-29), is nearly 14 acres which is zoned C-1, Conservation.

Zoning Administrator, Bart Svoboda  addressed the Planning Commission stating that the request was to have six cabins and the existing residence on the property. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)  had no issues with the entrance to the property.

The property is identified as rural in Greene’s Comprehensive Plan which supports the project. The conditions proposed for the Special Use Permit (SUP#15-102) include the B&B would be limited to six cabins, no guests could stay more than 30 days in a row, there would be a maximum of 100 guests per event and the project must meet all applicable Health Department and VDOT regulations.

Rob Lynch, the applicant, then addressed the Planning Commission stating that he and his family have recently moved clip_image003into the home on the property.

He stated that the location is right off Route 33 west of Stanardsville and across from Lydia Mountain Cabins and near the Tea Room, the Blue Ridge Pottery and just east of the Shenandoah National Park  making it a natural addition to the entrance of Greene County to attract visitors to Greene County.

The 2010 Comprehensive Plan recognized the underutilized tourism opportunities in Greene County:

Greene County has several assets for a vital tourism industry. Proximity to Shenandoah National Park and many acres of scenic rural lands provide an ideal backdrop for visitors, and various amenities exist to serve those who do visit.

When compared to counties in similar situations, it is clear that Greene County has not completely tapped into its full potential as a tourism destination, as the table reveals.

In 2008, $15.17 million was spent in Greene County, generating approximately 210 jobs. This is lower than the amounts spent in any of the surrounding localities.

According to The VirginiVirginia is For Loversa Tourism Corporation (VTC) Greene County saw an increase of 1.3% in 2013 tourism expenditures.  Even with that increase the VTC Economic Impact Report showed that Greene continues to lag far behind neighboring localities in terms of tourism:

                                                            2013 Tourism
                                                            Expenditures (in Millions)
Albemarle                                           $315.46
Rockingham                                      $183.29
Louisa                                                  $ 67.59
Orange                                                 $ 43.66
Madison                                              $ 32.49
Greene                                                 $ 17.69

Commissioner Frank Morris asked Lynch if there were plans of hosting weddings on the property. Lynch stated that they did hope to hold small weddings on the property and the 100 person limit would be sufficient.

Commissioner John McCloskey asked about the septic and sewer capability of the project. Lynch stated that this issue would be addressed as the development grew. He hoped to have each cabin in a wooded setting depending on where the ground perked allowing the location. Morris asked why the 100 person limitation while also asking what the county could do to help the project be successful? Lynch stated that VDOT targeted the 100 person maximum and he felt that number of people would allow the project to be successful.

No one from the public had comments on the project. With no further discussion the Planning Commission recommended approval of the SUP 4-0 as Chairman Jay Willer was absent. The SUP will proceed to the Board of Supervisors for their review.

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The Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Greene County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.

Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.

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