August 27, 2008
Present: Ms. Emily Hunt, Mr. Mike Harman, Mr. Mike Tapager, Mr. Tommy
Bruguiere (Board Liaison)
Absent: Ms. Philippa Proulx and Ms. Linda Russell
FINAL SUBDIVISION/SAMUEL & GRETCHEN PRICE – The applicants submitted a final
plat for a family subdivision to divide 1.910 acres from 12.60 acres on
Crabtree Falls Highway in Roseland in Tye Cliff Subdivision. Mr. Boger
reported that the plat is complete. Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the
REZONING/JEFFREY COFFEY & TERESA NAGY – The applicants are requesting a
rezoning of approximately 3 acres located at 2910 Patrick Henry Highway from
Industrial/Floodplain M-2 to Business/Floodplain B-1 to permit renovation of
the American Cyanamid office building for apartments and other B-1 uses.
The business was closed after the 1969 flood and the majority of the site
was identified as a “Super Fund” cleanup site by the Federal Government.
Several small businesses have operated out of the first floor of the
building but have since closed. The building is used now primarily for
storage and has a new roof. The present M-2 zoning restricts the use of the
building to industrial and the owners would like to consider other options
for using the building. Mr. Boger noted that there are between 8-14 sewer
connections available that could possibly be used for the site so use of the
building would be limited. He noted that the applicants have indicated that
there are two commercial wells on the property with good water and the
existing entrance appears to meet VDOT requirements.
The applicant, Ms. Nagy, said that the building is an eyesore and housing
would be a good thing for the community. During Public Comment, Mr. David
Hight, a member of the Nelson County Service Authority Board, said that the
apartments would provide additional users for the county’s new sewer line
and provide some payback on all the money the county has spent for the
Mr. Harman said that he would love to see the site developed and agreed that
it has been an eyesore. Commissioners voted 4-0 to recommend approval of
the rezoning. Mr. Tapager noted that the way the county’s rezoning process
is set up, every rezoning is a “spot zoning”. He suggested that the
Commission look at amending the Comp Plan to require that every rezoning be
considered as a planning issue with a Comp Plan amendment.
REZONING/TOMMY & DIANE HARVEY – The applicants are requesting a rezoning of
2.732 acres located at the intersection of Rt. 151 and Rt. 840 (Tanbark
Road) in Afton from Residential (R-1) to Business (B-1) Conditional with
proffers to permit the building of a 5,000 sq ft medical center and office
space. Mr. Boger noted that the applicants had submitted a list of uses
that they would voluntarily proffer away as uses permitted on the property.
Mr. Harvey said that the medical center is presently in a bad location and
needs room to expand. He said that he has met with VDOT and there will be
two entrances to the site, one of which will be on Rt. 151. He said that he
would like to line that entrance up with Afton Service Center across the
road and cut the bank back to allow for better sight distance. Mr. Harvey
reported that none of the adjoining landowners have a problem with the
project. Mr. Jim Gates, a partner on the project, said that all building
plans are preliminary but that he expects there to be a 5,000 sq ft brick
building with the medical center taking 3,500 sq ft. He said that a
compatible tenant would lease the remaining space. Mr. Tapager asked why
the applicant had not proffered 8-1-14, Sale of new and/or used cars. Mr.
Harvey said that it was an unintentional oversight and that he would be
happy to add that to the list, which would then include all uses except
8-1-2 (“Retail drugstores, feed and seed stores, food sales and restaurants,
wearing apparel shops, auto and home appliance services, banks, barber and
beauty shops, hardware stores, offices and personal and professional
services. Wholesale and processing activities that would be objectionable
because of noise, fumes, or dust are excluded.”)
During Public Comment, MS. ANGELA ROBINSON, Afton, requested that the
Commission deny the rezoning for the following reasons – 1) if the applicant
only wants to develop a medical facility, why were all the uses not
proffered; 2) consistency from the Commission is a reasonable request – the
Commission denied a request for a rezoning to B-1 just up the road; 3) the
Rt. 151/Rt. 840 intersection is of great concern and the issue cannot be
overlooked; and 4) the applicant’s intent is not always what you end up
with. MR. CURTIS BRUGUIERE, Afton, asked how the proposal conforms to the
Comp Plan. He said that Anderson’s Grocery, in business almost 100 years,
was denied a rezoning because it did not comply with the Comp Plan and yet
nothing was to be built at Anderson’s. He said that this project will
include a whole new building. Mr. Bruguiere said that the applicant has
nothing to show what will actually be built there. He noted that in the
future, the property could be sold with the new owner could put in anything
that the proffers did not take away. Mr. Bruguiere said that approval would
be spot zoning, another reason given for denying Anderson’s Grocery. He
said that the area is residential and spot zoning would have a huge impact.
He also noted that Rt. 151/Rt. 840 is a dangerous intersection, more
dangerous than the Anderson’s Grocery intersection. MS. SHELBY RALSTON,
Afton, said that she is pro-business and supports the overall scope of the
project but that the site is not appropriate. She said there are other
sites along Rt. 151 that are more appropriate. Ms. Ralston said that since
the North District Commission representative (Ms. Philippa Proulx) was not
present, she would ask the Commission to postpone the issue until the North
District was represented.
Mr. Harman said that he would like to know more about the plans for the
site, but acknowledged that the issue before the Commission at this time is
the rezoning. He said that he would like to have input from Ms. Proulx and
Ms. Russell before taking action. Mr. Bruguiere said that the real issue is
the rezoning and that the application meets the criteria for that. He said
the other issues should be addressed when an actual site plan is submitted
and not with the rezoning. He said that the Comp Plan does need to be
revised for the Avon/Afton area. Commissioners voted 4-0 to table the issue
until their September meeting and, at the applicant’s request, to hold
another public hearing at that meeting.
CLASS III COMMUNICATIONS TOWER/NTELOS – The applicant applied for an
application for a 130-foot metal tower on property on Rt. 151 across from
the Rockfish Presbyterian Church. The tower will be painted brown with
three flush-mounted antennas. The proposed site is 215 feet from Rt. 151 in
a wooded area and the applicant has requested a waiver of the landscaping
requirements around the facility as well as an exception to Section 20-7-2e
which prohibits metal towers within the viewshed of a Scenic Byway. Mr.
Boger reported that several balloon tests have been conducted for the site
and that nTelos paid for a consultant to the county to review their
information. Mr. Boger noted that the consultant looked at nTelos’ design
and determined the plan was sound.
Mr. George Condyles, The Atlantic Group, said that he had been to the site
and reviewed nTelos’ information. Ms. Hunt asked how much of Rt. 151 would
not have coverage without the proposed tower site. Mr. Condyles said that
1.5 to 2 miles would have poor service from this carrier. He said that
nTelos could probably use a 120-foot tower to achieve the coverage. He said
that he does not think the tower, as proposed, is even as visible as nTelos
says it is. He said that he believes it is only visible in the one spot
going north on Rt. 151 for a couple of seconds. Mr. Tapager asked whether
this would be a tower the county would want to co-locate on as that would
affect whether it should be approved at 120 or 130 feet. Mr. Condyles said
that he has not looked at the county’s emergency radio system plan, but that
it could be a good relay site for the county.
Ms. Valerie Long, representing nTelos, said that the provider has looked at
various other properties in order to do shorter towers at two sites but had
been unable to locate an appropriate site that the owner would agree to
lease. She reviewed the balloon tests and noted the deciduous and evergreen
screening on the site.
Mr. Bruguiere said that he went to one of the balloon tests and never saw a
balloon. He said that he does not think a single monopole is going to
affect the scenic byway and that this is a safety issue for those traveling
Rt. 151. He said that he is in favor of a 130′ pole on that site. Mr.
Tapager said that he could see the tower for about five seconds going north
but he was looking for it. Commissioners voted 4-0 to recommend approval of
the tower with the waiver and exception.
CLASS III COMMUNICATION TOWER CO-LOCATION/AT&T/BUCK CREEK LANE – The
applicant has applied to co-locate three flush-mounted antennas at 94-feet
on an existing 107-foot nTelos tower on property owned by Ms. Barbara Turner
Lowery. The co-location would include a 10×20 fenced area at the base of
the tower to locate the ground equipment on a concrete slab. With no Public
Comment, Commissioners voted 4-0 to recommend approval.
CLASS III COMMUNICATION TOWER/NTELOS/WPOA – The applicant has applied for a
permit to erect a 130-foot tower on Heathstone Lane across from the water
tank in an area designated as open space on the Wintergreen Master Plan.
nTelos will flush mount three panel antennas on the tower and a 23-foot
antenna will be mounted for Wintergreen Emergency Services. Both the tower
and the antennas will be painted brown and the facility will be enclosed by
a wood stockade fence. Landscaping will be placed on three sides of the
fence to help screen it from view. The applicant is also requested a waiver
of the required “fall zone” – 125% of the tower height or 162.5 feet in this
case. The tower, according to the applicant, is designed to collapse upon
itself rather than falling over. In addition, the site is only about 60
feet wide and approximately 20.7 feet from the right-of-way of Hearthstone
Lane. Ms. Valerie Long, representing nTelos, presented photos from the
balloon test and noted that WPOA had approved the tower after talking with
all the adjoining landowners.
During Public Comment, MR. CLINT COX, said that he has lived below the site
for 20 years and said that he would like the provider to work harder at
using existing infrastructure instead of putting up a new pole. He also
expressed concerns about the safety of the water tank and the environmental
risks if the tower’s backup batteries failed and leaked. MR. CURTIS SHEETS,
Deputy Executive Director of WPOA and Chief of Wintergreen Fire and Rescue,
said that the most frequent complaint at Wintergreen is the lack of cell
coverage. He said that it is a major safety issue for Wintergreen. MR.
LARRY WHITACKER, Afton and Wintergreen property owner, said that the tower
should not be located in the middle of a residential area. MS. JUDY BARNES,
Afton, said that she is concerned she will never be able to sell her farm
located across Rt. 151 because of the cell towers going up in the county.
She also expressed health concerns with cell towers and said that she is
opposed to the towers for heath reasons.
Commissioners voted 4-0 to recommend approval of the tower with the
exception to the “fall zone” requirement.
SEPTEMBER COMMISSION MEETING – Due to a scheduling conflict with Mr. Boger,
Commissioners voted 4-0 to change the September Planning Commission meeting
to Tuesday, September 23rd at 7:30pm at a location to be announced.
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