The Warren County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting on September 27elargely to address a list of nine actions that could not be covered at the September 20 regular meeting.
The council quickly approved two county property leases, one for a property at 229 Stokes Airport Road in Skydive Front Royal, LLC, for $600 per month, and another for an apartment at 136 Hillidge Street for $725. per month to Raymond K. Freeman. There was no public comment on either lease, and supervisors approved both unanimously.
After a lengthy public hearing, by a 3-2 margin, supervisors approved a conditional use permit (CUP) for Cole and Danielle Haase for an outdoor sports facility on their property at 19959 Fort Valley Road. In July, the County Planning Commission held a public hearing and ultimately recommended denying the permit, citing traffic and neighborhood issues. Since then, the candidates have scaled back the proposal and worked to assuage neighborhood concerns. They anticipate that the majority of activities will take place indoors and will reduce outdoor activities to daytime use only. The Haases are also local business owners. The property was formerly used as a church and multi-activity center by Master’s Touch Ministries.
Public feedback was lively, with 24 people speaking in person or submitting letters, emails or videos. Eighteen were in favor of the license and six against. Neighbors railed against a possible increase in traffic near an accident-prone intersection on Fort Valley Road and Route 55. Supporters hailed the candidates’ commitment to youth sports as a significant factor in the development of teamwork, sports and social skills of young people. Sue Russell, whose property adjoins the site, opposed the permit and is concerned about the effect of any earthworks or excavations causing flooding on her property.
Some of the supervisors recalled when outdoor concerts and events had taken place at this establishment. Supervisor Vicky Cook appeared to be the main opponent of the proposed permit, questioning the applicant’s parking and traffic estimates. At the end of the discussion, Supervisor Oates moved a motion of concurrence, seconded by Supervisor Mabe, and the motion carried, 3-2. President Cullers, joined by Supervisors Oates and Mabe, Aye, Supervisors Cook and Butler, No.
Michelle Moriarty is applying for a CUP for a short term tourist rental for the property at 96 Cappy Road which she recently purchased in April 2022. The applicant will use a local property manager and local professional services for emergencies, maintenance, cleaning, garbage disposal, and guest screening/reservations. One speaker opposed the permit on the grounds that the area is residential and not commercial. However, the Virginia General Assembly and the court system have specifically determined that short-term rentals are a residential activity rather than a commercial operation. When questioned by counsel, the applicant indicated that she had already spoken with all the property owners in the area and provided their contact details if needed.
Planning director Wendling said there have so far been no complaints or appeals about these properties. Supervisor Cook asked if the county sheriff would necessarily know if there was a problem with a short-term rental. County Administrator Edwin Daley suggested the county could look into developing a registry listing for approved short-term rentals to allow law enforcement from the Public Safety Communications Center to know who to contact in the event of a problem. Finally, on a motion by Supervisor Oates, seconded by Supervisor Mabe, the board unanimously approved the permit.
Kendra Hansen, Kathryn Stuart, Simon Sarver and Michael Cherubin applied for a CUP for a short-term tourist rental located at 97 River Overlook Road. The owners plan to use the property themselves year-round, but would also like to be able to make the property available for short-term accommodation for visitors to the Warren County area when not visiting. not occupy. Applicants will manage the property personally. There were no speakers for or against the bid, and no discussion from the supervisors. On a motion of Supervisor Mabe and seconded by Supervisor Cook, the motion passed unanimously.
CAZA Legacy, LLC has applied for a CUP for short-term tourist rental for the property located at 241 Wildcat Drive. The plaintiffs, Robert Chevez and Erin Kavanagh, purchased this residential zoned property as an investment property and are currently renting the property long-term for over 30 days since its purchase in February 2022. They also intend to l also use for themselves. – far from home in Northern Virginia. The applicants are requesting a waiver of the 100 foot setback requirement from dwelling to dwelling. The dwelling to the west is 50 feet and the applicants have submitted a letter from their neighbor supporting the application. Candidates will contract with a local property management company to maintain the property and, as estate agents, they will market and manage the rental. The property had an approved permit for short-term tourist use in 2018, but use was never established and that permit expired.
Two letters from neighboring owners were submitted. One was in favor of issuing a permit and the other was against it. There were no speakers at the public hearing and, on a motion by Supervisor Mabe, seconded by Supervisor Cook, the supervisors voted unanimously to approve the permit.
Matthew Williams and Jay Gilbert have applied for a CUP for a short term tourist rental located at 244 Delicious Road, Linden. Applicants plan to personally manage the property with assistance from local professional services for cleaning and landscaping. The nearest dwelling unit is 115 feet to the northeast. There was no comment from supervisors or the public. A letter supporting the use has been submitted. On a motion by Supervisor Oates, seconded by Supervisor Butler, the board voted unanimously to approve.
Matthew Williams and Jay Gilbert also applied for a CUP for a short-term tourist rental at an agricultural property at 115 Lonesome Flats Road. Applicants plan to personally manage the property with assistance from local professional services for cleaning and landscaping. The nearest dwelling is 313 feet to the north. The planning department provided a letter from a neighbour, John Croft, objecting to the permit. Mr. Croft alleges that the road is private, on his land, and has not granted permission to use it for guests. After discussing the legal status of an access easement to the applicant’s property, the supervisors decide to approve the permit, subject to verification of the existence of an access easement. Supervisor Cook presented a motion of approval, seconded by Supervisor Mabe. The approval vote was unanimous.
Thomas Pigeon applied for a CUP for a short-term tourist rental located at 540 Lakeside Drive. The applicant will engage a local property management company, Shenandoah Valley Property Maintenance LLC, to manage and maintain the property if use is approved. The owners plan to manage the rental of the property through Airbnb and will review all renters for a positive online rating. All requirements for authorization are met. On a motion by Supervisor Butler, seconded by Supervisor Mabe, the board voted 4 to 1 in favor of approval. President Cullers has expressed concern and continued opposition to the purchase of properties by landlords unconnected to the area for this use.
The Assembly adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
See clips or the entire September 27 meeting in the linked video from the county’s website.