The Greene County Planning Commission held three public hearings at its Aug. 19 meeting, approving a rezoning in Ruckersville, a rezoning in Stanardsville and a special use permit for equestrian activities in Ruckersville. No one from the public spoke at any of them.
The first rezoning of 5.5 acres from A-1 agriculture to B-3 business will allow Ruckersville Self Storage LLC to grow at its site on U.S. 29 north in Ruckersville.
“An economic goal of the comprehensive plan is to encourage mixed development in the growth areas that offer commercial office and residential development,” said Stephanie Golon, deputy planning director. “Another goal is to support commercial growth in Ruckersville within the designated growth area.”
Golon said the plan is to expand the business behind the current units.
“I feel like we have built a very nice building on 29; we’re glad that we came to Greene County,” said applicant Darrell Payne. “We’re finding that we’re filling up fast enough that we’re going to need additional units and space very shortly.”
Some of the new units will be climate controlled, he said.
Planning Commission Chair Jay Willer asked if there would be vehicle storage on the property.
“There was already a strong demand for vehicle camper and RV storage prior to COVID-19 and that’s only been strengthened now,” Payne said. “The majority of HOAs (Homeowners Associations) don’t allow the parking. We’ve allowed ourselves about 70 feet to have some parking on the backside.”
Commissioner Steve Kruskamp didn’t have questions but did want to acknowledge the owners.
“I certainly want to applaud the applicant on, you know, running what’s come to be a very successful business and its growth is certainly something that we need right now in this county,” Kruskamp said. “From what I’ve seen, it looks like you’re being really smart about this and how you’re laying it out, allowing for even potentially some future development toward the front part of the parcel closer to 29. I don’t think anybody can complain about any sort of eyesore or any issue so I certainly support this. I think it’s great.”
Commissioner John McCloskey agreed.
“I think this is a good development for this area and it fits within the comp plan,” he said.
Kruskamp motioned to approve the rezoning and McCloskey seconded. The commission unanimously passed the rezoning.
The Planning Commission also approved a special use permit for Greene Valley Stables LLC on Amicus Road for Timothy and Sherry Spies for stables, horseback riding and equestrian facilities.
“The current facility is located on Amicus and was built in the late 1990s and the applicant is seeking a special use permit that allows these uses,” Golon said. “The entire area around the location is zoned A-1 and this particular use fits in the character of the neighborhood.”
Golon said the entrance to the property was designed for commercial use for large horse trailers, so it won’t need to be replaced. If the Spies chose to expand the facility, lighting and landscaping would be addressed in the site plan process.
“We recommend approval of the special use permit to accommodate events in that location that can bring tourism into our county and provide recreation for our citizens,” Golon said.
Commissioner Mike Traber motioned to approve the permit.
“I’m in full agreement,” he said. “This is right in line with our comprehensive plan.”
McCloskey seconded and the special use permit was approved unanimously.
The upcoming November election helped spur the final public hearing for a rezoning in the Town of Stanardsville, according to Jim Frydl, director of planning and zoning administrator.
“This parcel borders the county buildings housing the registrar’s office, treasurer’s office and commonwealth’s attorney’s office,” Frydl said. “But this parcel is currently zoned R-1 residential. Being on a major thoroughfare and about an eighth of a mile away from Courthouse Square fits the criteria for the RC zoning.”
RC is the commercial designation in Stanardsville that allows mixed-use development.
There is already a home on the parcel on Celt Road that the owner wants to stay residential, Frydl said.
“It allows the county to continue to keep our office buildings on the parcel where they are now,” Frydl said. “Knowing that sometime in the next several years we’re going to need to expand those buildings, the town doesn’t want us to start looking for other places and moving those outside of the town.”
Frydl said the RC zoning allows the county to expand on its own lot without having to have the 20-foot setbacks that would normally be required next to a residential property.
“The county’s interest is in its own lot that we have,” Frydl said.
Commissioner Ron Williams, liaison to the town council, said the council sees this rezoning as a win.
Williams motioned for the rezoning and McCloskey seconded. It passed unanimously.
The three actions will be recommended for approval to the Greene County Board of Supervisors, who will take up the issues at a later meeting on a date that has not yet been decided.
The next Greene County Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. The agenda of that meeting will be posted online at greenecountyva.gov/government/depts/planning-zoning.
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