Frazier, Chase to lead
Members of the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors choose their leadership Tuesday with Cedar Mountain District representative C. Jack Frazier named as Chairman and Stevensburg District representative William C. “Bill” Chase named as Vice-Chairman.
They approved appropriation of state grant funds in the amount of $75,000 for the Broadband planning grant.
Parks and Rec got a boost from a $2,500 grant from the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation.
CPA David Foley, a member of Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates, presented the board with a financial report ending June 30, 2016. All is well. The county’s handling of their finances received high marks for their internal financial review of departments and strong adherence to federal regulations.
The board nominated county administrator John Egertson and West Fairfax Supervisor Gary Deal as potential members on the GO Virginia Regional Council. This statewide council will look at ways regions can collaborate/benefit from attracting large businesses to Virginia increasing the workforce and boosting the state’s economy. In its early stages, Governor McAuliffe has decreased total potential funding from $30 million to $20 million.
The public works committee recommended, and it was approved, that County Waste be awarded the contract for recycling services.
They also recommended, and it was approved, that a tap fee be established for Bright Farms which is located in Elkwood in the Airpark Industrial Center. They have a private well and it was originally estimated to have a flow of 20,000 gallons per month. It’s currently at 79,000 gallons per month. They will be accessed at a tap fee of $.77 per gallon. Supervisor Sue Hansohn added that they were aware of the potential tap fee and fine with it.
New Pump and Haul Policy
Coming out of the rules committee and also meeting with unanimous approval is a new Pump and Haul Policy.
The county is facing a federal lawsuit from their previous denial of a pump and haul request from the Islamic Center of Culpeper for a property on Rixeyville Road.
“The policy approved today in large part better defines the hardship policies we have followed in practice, although in much more detail. Capturing in writing the factors that have been considerations in the past and any new and/or clarified factors only serves to strengthen the County’s position generally as to transparency and public education as to the waste management issue, and in the litigation,” said county administrator John Egertson when asked how the new policy would affect that lawsuit.
Since the original policy was in place there have been many advances when it comes to alternative septic systems. The denial of a pump and haul request did not preclude the applicant from seeking other methods.
“Nothing has ever prevented the applicant(s) from reapplying for a pump and haul permit and submitting supplemental and/or updated information in support of a reapplication. Reapplication could have been made at any time. Also, there is no Board approval needed at all for an alternative system. The applicant(s) can employ such an alternative system, at any time if approved by the Health Department, without any need for a pump and haul permit from the County. The applicant(s) simply never pursued that avenue to my knowledge,” added Egertson.
Piedmont Estates Preliminary Subdivision Plan approved
With a previous unanimous vote from the county planning commission plus staff recommendation, the board unanimously approved preliminary subdivision plans for a 96-unit development at Clevenger’s Corner. Located at the intersection of Routes 211 and 229, the by-right development will consist of 93 housing units Three units are dedicated to wells. Nearly 60 acres will be open space out of the roughly 125 acres dedicated for this development. No builder has been chosen at this point but according to Jim Carson with Carson/Ashley, representing the developer, he stated at the board’s Tuesday evening meeting “that the homes would be comparable to those in nearby South Wales.”
Most of the questions posed by board members focused on buffer zones around the development particularly since this area serves as one of the entrances to Culpeper County.
Perry Cabot, who lives in the area and normally represents the group Concerned Citizens of Culpeper, spoke on his own behalf. He felt the development was more of a death than a dream recalling the once grand plan of a mixed use development incorporating retail and commercial components rather than just rooftops.
“How did Clevengers Corner go from such potential,” he said sharing his disappointment that the view on 229 coming into Culpeper will be the backyards of residences.
Jefferson District representative Brad Rosenberger urged the board to look forward and build in stronger policies guiding future development when it comes to buffers to not only protect the residents living in those developments but those who have them as neighbors and/or those who are traveling on roads near them.
All members agreed that they didn’t envision spending tax dollars on noise barriers the likes that are seen in areas like Chantilly.
County planning director Sam McLearen reminded the board that with this preliminary subdivision approval, the next phase would be the development of construction plans which could well include adequate buffering. Carson also pointed out that the land has natural elevations which could help plus homes were planned a fair distance from the two roads.
The board also approved a 287-unit development in the North Ridge subdivision part of a previous master plan for that area.