By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
In October, 2014 Ronald Snoddy got approval from the Greene County Board of Supervisors for a Special Use Permit to expand his vehicle restoration business at his home on Matthew Mills Road . His plan was to construct a new building of 6,000 SF – but it never happened.
Snoddy has since revised his expansion plan and decided to expand his business but not by constructing a new structure, he is requesting to add on to the existing building on the property. However, the expansion puts the addition to the back of his property – a different location than the new building previously approved.
The real issue seems to be the paint booth and the concern with noise and fumes that it may generate. Snoddy indicated that he operates the booth from 10am to 4pm but he would like to expand the operation to 7am to 4 pm.
Three people addressed the commission during the public hearing. The first speaker indicated that he is an expert in the paint booth equipment and is available to answer any questions about the process. He indicated that the equipment is inside and the air is filtered several times before it is released outside. It is possible that the process could be modified to lower the noise to the outside.
The other two speakers were Snoddy’s neighbors and spoke in opposition to the Special Use Permit (SUP16-002) . Skip Forbes lives behind Snoddy and he can smell the fumes from the paint process. He has measured the noise from Snoddy’s business and said it registers 69 DB. He can also hear grinding and pounding when he is outside of his home. Finally, he is concerned about the impact the business will have on his property value. Michael Dubell pointed out that Snoddy did not do what the original Special Use Permit was for so how can he amend the Special Use Permit?
The commissioners then discussed the request. Commissioner John McCloskey asked about the expansion site. Snoddy stated he put the mechanicals inside to cut down the noise and his wife can barely hear his equipment in her beauty salon which is located in their home. McCloskey asked how the paint fumes are handled and Snoddy explained that the fumes pass through multiple air filters before being released to the air.
Chairman Jay Willer stated that Snoddy is not in compliance with the Special Use Permit from 2014 and this new request would have to be approved to be in compliance. Snoddy said he had no intent to build 60 x 100 ft. building which was approved in 2014 but may do a 20 x 40 ft. addition.
Commissioner Vic Schaff made a motion to recommend denial of the request since the original Special Use Permit was not followed and the Planning Commission voted 4-1 to deny the Special Use Permit with Commissioner Frank Morris voting in favor. As in all cases, the action will go to the Board of Supervisors for their review and final action.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org