Planning commission approves town permit for water storage tank

Culpeper County’s Planning Commission approved a request from the Town of Culpeper for approval of a conditional use permit to install a municipal elevated water storage tank along Lovers Lane.

The location of the storage tank has changed, originally located in the Three Flag Subdivision in the Culpeper County Master Water and Sewer Plan in December 2016. Now, the tank will be located at the corner of Route 15 (James Madison Hwy.) and Route 686 (Lovers Lane). The town is changing the location so Life Spire, a retirement facility being built on Route 15, can hook into the water source for fire prevention services.

The tower is permitted up to a height of 180-feet, though Culpeper County Planning Director Sam McLaren said the height is unavoidable and necessary to achieve water storage needs for fire flow protection in the immediate area – including the Life Spire Retirement facility.

Life Spire is expected to help contribute to the project, as they had originally planned to build their own fire prevention water source prior to the town moving the proposed water tower.

While located in the county, the 189-acre property will be built and owned by the town. Planning commissioner Cindy Thornhill pointed out the eyesore of a pumping station that is being built along Bus. 29 south, and asked if something like that would be on the property.

Paul Howard, Culpeper County’s Environmental Services Director, said that no pumping station will be at ground level.

The planning commission approved the conditional use permit by a vote of 8-1. Josh Millson-Martula voted against the measure.

In other business:

The Planning Commission approved a request from Andrew Campbell to rezone 3.87 acres from A1 (agricultural) to HI (Heavy Industrial) located off of Route 653 in the Cedar Mountain Magisterial District.

Campbell plans to open Blackhill Granite on the site, if approved. It would be a granite finishing business, which dovetails nicely with the several other quarries located in the same vicinity.

The Planning Commission discussed the matter for nearly an hour, expressing concern about the turn from Route 653 onto the easement, and issues with the easement itself.

Campbell said the woman who has the easement his road would cross was OK with improvements he had suggested, but the Planning Commission wanted a legal document stating such.

In the end, many of the commissioners praised Campbell for his entrepreneurial spirit while still pointing out issues that needed to be addressed.

“This makes sense,” Planning Commissioner Lou Price said. “This would be the only finishing plant in the county. I commend your on your big idea.”

Commissioner Laura Rogers raised concerns about the turn and making language stronger in Campbell’s proffer to ensure he would work on VDOT on the safety of the turn at Route 653.

Another concern raised was about the noise that business would create, but Campbell said that most of the machinery would be housed inside a building located on the property with one large saw likely being the only outside equipment.


The commissioners approved the plan by a 9-0 vote.

Also approved were:

> A request by Culpeper Corners LLC for approval of a site plan with regard to the proposed construction of a gas/convenience center along U.S. 29.

> A request by Culpeper Corners LLC for approval of a site plan with regard to the proposed construction of an office building adjacent to the current UVA Medical Center building.

> A request by CWS VII/Queli Campos for approval of a site plan with regard to the proposed construction of a 195-foot telecommunications tower with a 4-foot lightning rod.

> A request by Thomas Underwood for approval of a conditional use permit for outdoor storage, display and sales of motorized vehicles along U.S. 29


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Jeff Say is the editor for the Culpeper Times. He can be reached at