By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
Bruce Shifflett, the owner of Lydia Mountain Lodge & Log Cabins, asked Greene County’s Planning Commission for a Special Use Permit (SUP # 15-003) so he could construct a general store and five lodging houses, some fronting Route 33 westbound at the monthly meeting on May 20th. Lydia Mountain consists for various sized cabins, a motel, a pavilion, and recreational activities such as a zip line and tubing track.
Director / Zoning Administrator Bart Svoboda presented the SUP to the commissioners explaining that the property is an odd shaped lot – an “L” shape that is not deep off Route 33. Svoboda explained that there are to be several entrances directly from Route 33 – one to the store and the other to the 2 units fronting Route 33. He stated that Greene’s Comprehensive Plan supports tourism and transient travelers. His recommendation to the PC is to approve the SUP with a limitation of guests staying no more than 30 days of a year.
Shifflett addressed the Planning Commission and he explained that the current building used to be a general store. He envisions reopening the store on a limited basis, mainly as a check in location but also to purchase fire wood and other supplies. He also wants to “clean up” the corner which is the entrance to Lydia Mountain.
Chairman Jay Willer asked how far this location is to the Skyline Drive National Park. Shifflett said that it is a little more than five miles.
The hearing then shifted to the comments from the public. Tina Deane, Lydia Mountain’s property manager, spoke and she was in favor of the SUP. She was hopeful that having a storefront on Route 33 would help their customers locate Lydia Mountain and she also offered the general store as a visitor center for Greene County to supplement the current visitor center on Route 29.
The endorsement from the commissioners was evident as there were no questions. A motion with the limitation of the store and five houses and no guests to stay beyond 30 days in a year was made and seconded. The motion passed 5-0 and Willer commented to Shifflett that this is a “great addition” to the county and recommended that he meet with Alan Yost, Director of Tourism for Greene, Economic Development & Tourism Director, who was in the audience, if the Board of Supervisors approves the SUP.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.
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