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Harrisonburg VA 22801
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Supervisors OK series of short-term-tourist rentals after lengthy joint discussion on Rural Event Facility lodging rental parameters
41-F Court Square
Harrisonburg VA 22801
On Tuesday, March 28, the Warren County Board of Supervisors held its recently added third monthly meeting to deal with the increased number of public hearings largely fueled by short-term-tourist rental Conditional Use Permit (CUP) applications. Seven of the eight public hearings remaining on the agenda were seeking permitting for short-term-tourist rentals. Three public hearings related to Rushmark Rockland Road LLC’s north-side Industrial Zone development plans, originally including a data center, were withdrawn from the agenda at the applicant’s request. The first, and lengthiest, discussion involved a joint supervisors/planning commission public hearing on a planning staff forwarded text amendment recommendation on lodging rentals tied to Rural Events Facilities.
The 6 p.m. open meeting followed a two-topic Closed/Executive Session discussion regarding legal matters related to the various FR-WC Economic Development Authority litigations, and a late added discussion on the “Disposition of Publicly Held Real Property”. There were no announcements following the closed session.
The results of the public hearings were as follows:
C. Joint Public Hearing – Zoning Text Amendment 2023-03-02, Ordinance to Amend Warren County Code Sections 180-8 and 180-55.2 Regarding Rural Events Facilities – presented by Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator. Two options were presented by staff:
“Option A includes express language under subsection §180-55.2B(2) of the draft ordinance requiring the rental of lodging units to be only in conjunction with an event, implementing a three-consecutive-day duration limit for rental contracts, and prohibiting the use of the lodging units as Short-Term Tourist Rentals. Planning staff recommends this option as these requirements are essential to the classification of the use as accessory to the Rural Events Facility and it distinguishes the use from a Short-Term Tourist Rental.”
“Option B excludes the requirement for the rental of lodging units to be only in conjunction with an event, increases the maximum duration limit for rental contracts to seven consecutive days, and removes the prohibition on the use of the lodging units as Short-Term Tourist Rentals. This option allows for the rental of the lodging units to be independent of the Rural Events Facility. It is the opinion of Planning staff that such rental of the lodging units independent of the Rural Events Facility should be classified as a separate principal use and not accessory to the Rural Events Facility.”
Shelly Cook, whose recent approval of Rural Events Facility permitting on her operational Agricultural vineyard property raised the issues on planning staff’s text amendment initiative, was present and answered questions related to her planned operations. During discussion, North River District Supervisor Delores Oates urged her colleagues to take a “pioneering” role statewide in defining acceptable Agricultural-Tourism uses to help financially struggling Agricultural operations stay in business, as opposed to selling or transferring their uses to full Residential or Commercial development. And following extensive discussion, the board took the planning commission’s recommendation to allow lodging as an independent use with the longer seven-day maximum stay, as opposed to three days tied to specific events.
- Discussion and Recommendation by the Warren County Planning Commission — After a nearly hour-long joint supervisors/planning commission discussion, first the county planning commission on a motion by Ms. Richardson, by a 3-1 vote, Mr. Huson dissenting, Mr. Henry abstaining, recommended Option B be adopted.
- Discussion and Motion by the Warren County Board of Supervisors — On a motion by Mrs. Oates, seconded by Mr. Butler, unanimously approved Option B of the text amendment proposals.
D. Public Hearings
- Conditional Use Permit 2023-01-01, Dominik Golczewski for a Short-Term Tourist Rental located at 398 Briar Lane and identified on Tax Map 15E, Section 5, Block 5, Parcel 443 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator — On a motion by Mr. Mabe, seconded by Mrs. Oates, unanimously approved the request. There were no speakers at the public hearing.
- Conditional Use Permit 2023-01-03 Vitaliy Hayda & Oleksandr Mokrohuz for a Short-Term Tourist Rental located on 540 Bragg Drive and identified on Tax Map 23C, Section 8, Block 4, as Parcel 16 – Matt Wendling, Planning Director — On a motion by Mr. Butler, second by Mrs. Oates, unanimously approved the requested permitting. Again, no public hearing speakers though communications from neighbors was put into the public hearing record.
Conditional Use Permit 2023-01-04, Thomas Ryan for a Short-Term Tourist Rental located at 944 Wilderness Road and identified on Tax Map 23A, Section 8, Block 45, Parcel 17A – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator — On a motion by Mr. Butler, second by Mrs. Cullers, unanimously approved the requested permitting. The applicant was present to answer questions.
Conditional Use Permit 2023-01-05, David Bediz for a Short-term Tourist Rental located at 303 Marino Lane and identified on Tax Map 15D, Section 2, Block 5, Parcel 95 – Matt Wendling, Planning Director — On a motion by Mr. Mabe, second by Mr. Butler, unanimously approved the permitting request. No speakers addressed the board and the applicant was not present.
Conditional Use Permit 2023-01-06, Nathan L. Phenicie for a Short-Term Tourist Rental located at 1264 Freezeland Road and identified on Tax Map 23I, Parcel 3 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator — On a motion by Mrs. Oates, second by Mr. Mabe, approved the application unanimously. Applicant was present, there were no public hearing speakers.
Conditional Use Permit 2023-01-07, Kari Meyer for a Short-Term Tourist Rental located at 121 Cheyenne Lane and identified on Tax Map 26A, Section 7A, Parcel 18A1 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator — On a motion by Mrs. Cullers, second by Mr. Butler the application was unanimously approved. Applicant was present, again no one spoke at the public hearing.
Conditional Use Permit 2023-01-08, Matthew Williams & Jay Gilbert for a Short-Term Tourist Rental located at 12 Far View Lane and identified on Tax Map 15A, Section 1, Block 3, Parcel 103A1 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator — On a motion by Mrs. Cullers, second by Mrs. Oates, the board unanimously approved the application. Initial opposition from the Blue Mountain POA was noted by staff, though Lenz told the board the applicant had met with POA representatives to ease their concerns. The applicant verified discussion with the POA chairman by email, working toward a mutually agreeable resolution still in the works.
The meeting adjourned at 7:33 p.m.
See the discussions and actions taken in the County video.
New bill allows some Virginia localities to incentivize urban green spaces
41-F Court Square
Harrisonburg VA 22801
Virginia localities will soon have a streamlined ability to offer incentives that aid the development of urban green spaces, like city parks or sports fields.
Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond, introduced House Bill 1510 to give localities regulatory flexibility. The General Assembly passed the bill with a House vote of 72-27 and a Senate vote of 32-8.
Urban green space is defined as a piece of land covered with grass, trees, shrubs or other vegetation and located around a populated area, according to the bill. The proposed area must help reduce higher temperatures sometimes associated with urban development or aid the mitigation of stormwater in order to qualify for incentives and can be public or private projects.
The incentives would not be available in rural areas and areas of low population density.
The incentives may include a reduction in project permit fees or a streamlined permit approval process, according to the bill. The type of available permits would be up to localities but could include permits such as building, Adams stated.
“The process for obtaining permits is both costly and lengthy; ideally, this legislation could help speed up that process for developments incorporating [urban green space],” Adams stated.
The incentives received will depend on how much green space is implemented on a building site.
The bill gives cities the flexibility to opt-in, Adams told a House Finance subcommittee.
“The bill does not mandate localities do anything but rather gives those that currently have resources a tool to incentivize or accelerate urban green space development, and there is no fiscal impact for the state,” Adams said.
Lee Francis, deputy director for the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, said he sees the bill as an opportunity to serve communities that don’t have access to green spaces.
“It gives localities a tool to expand green spaces into underserved communities and kind of even the playing field a little bit,” Francis said.
Jeremy Hoffman, the chief scientist at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, believes that more green spaces in urban communities, such as Richmond, are beneficial to various aspects of the environment.
“They lower air temperatures, they soak up stormwater that falls on them as rain, and they clean the air of harmful pollutants,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman describes urban green spaces as “natural air conditioning for cities” while being the “environmental clean-up crew.”
Building more green spaces can reduce a phenomenon called the urban heat island effect. It is when air temperatures rise in a city from man-made infrastructures, such as dark paved roads, compared to rural areas, according to Hoffman.
“Those [paved roads] absorb more of the sun’s energy throughout the day and then re-emit it back into the air as heat throughout the afternoon and overnight, basically raising the temperatures in those landscapes,” Hoffman said.
Scientists can quickly attain heat island results and use air thermometers or before and after thermal heat photos taken from the ground or by satellite, according to Hoffman.
“We trimmed up some trees, planted some new plants, and were able to show between the morning and the afternoon the impact of improving that green space,” Hoffman said while talking about Rosemoore Pocket Park in Scott’s Addition neighborhood in Richmond.
Green spaces can lower temperatures by 10 degrees to 20 degrees on hot days, according to Shelly Barrick Parsons, executive director for Capital Trees.
Capital Trees is a Richmond-based nonprofit organization that works to implement green spaces in the community through partnerships with the city, corporations, and other nonprofits.
Barrick Parsons sees the potential in the bill and what it could do for urban cities.
“I think it has an opportunity to increase the development of green space if municipalities take advantage of the opportunity,” Barrick Parsons said.
The incentives can help accelerate a development timeline but also have financial impacts.
“Permitting fees can be just a few thousand dollars, but that $2,000 can make a lot of difference to a nonprofit,” Barrick Parsons said.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin approved the bill on March 23, and the measure will become effective on July 1.
By Adrianna Lawrence
Capital News Service
Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.
FDA approves first over-the-counter Naloxone nasal spray
41-F Court Square
Harrisonburg VA 22801
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan, a 4 milligram (mg) naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray for over-the-counter (OTC), nonprescription use – the first naloxone product approved for use without a prescription. Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose and is the standard treatment for opioid overdose. Today’s action paves the way for the life-saving medication to reverse an opioid overdose to be sold directly to consumers in places like drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and gas stations, as well as online.
The timeline for the availability and price of this OTC product is determined by the manufacturer. The FDA will work with all stakeholders to help facilitate the continued availability of naloxone nasal spray products during the time needed to implement the Narcan switch from prescription to OTC status, which may take months. Other formulations and dosages of naloxone will remain available by prescription only.
Drug overdose persists as a major public health issue in the United States, with more than 101,750 reported fatal overdoses occurring in the 12-month period ending in October 2022, primarily driven by synthetic opioids like illicit fentanyl.
“The FDA remains committed to addressing the evolving complexities of the overdose crisis. As part of this work, the agency has used its regulatory authority to facilitate greater access to naloxone by encouraging the development of and approving an over-the-counter naloxone product to address the dire public health need,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “Today’s approval of OTC naloxone nasal spray will help improve access to naloxone, increase the number of locations where it’s available, and help reduce opioid overdose deaths throughout the country. We encourage the manufacturer to make accessibility to the product a priority by making it available as soon as possible and at an affordable price.”
The Narcan nasal spray was first approved by the FDA in 2015 as a prescription drug. In accordance with a process to change the status of a drug from prescription to nonprescription, the manufacturer provided data demonstrating that the drug is safe and effective for use as directed in its proposed labeling. The manufacturer also showed that consumers could understand how to use the drug safely and effectively without the supervision of a healthcare professional. The application to approve Narcan nasal spray for OTC use was granted priority review status. It was the subject of an advisory committee meeting in February 2023, where committee members voted unanimously to recommend it be approved for marketing without a prescription.
The approval of OTC Narcan nasal spray will require a change in the labeling for the currently approved 4 mg generic naloxone nasal spray products that rely on Narcan as their reference listed drug product. Manufacturers of these products will be required to submit a supplement to their applications to effectively switch their products to OTC status. The approval may also affect the status of other brand-name naloxone nasal spray products of 4 mg or less, but determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis, and the FDA may contact other firms as needed.
The use of Narcan nasal spray in individuals who are opioid dependent may result in severe opioid withdrawal characterized by body aches, diarrhea, increased heart rate (tachycardia), fever, runny nose, sneezing, goose bumps, sweating, yawning, nausea or vomiting, nervousness, restlessness or irritability, shivering or trembling, abdominal cramps, weakness, and increased blood pressure.
“Naloxone is a critical tool in addressing opioid overdoses, and today’s approval underscores the extensive efforts the agency has undertaken to combat the overdose crisis,” said Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA is working with our federal partners to help ensure continued access to all forms of naloxone during the transition of this product from prescription status to nonprescription/OTC status. Further, we will work with any sponsor seeking to market a nonprescription naloxone product, including through an Rx to OTC switch, and encourage manufacturers to contact the agency as early as possible to initiate discussions.”
The FDA has taken a series of measures to help facilitate access to naloxone products. In November 2022, the agency announced its preliminary assessment that certain naloxone products, such as the one ultimately approved today, have the potential to be safe and effective for over-the-counter use and encouraged sponsors to submit applications for approval of OTC naloxone products. The agency previously announced in 2019 that it had designed, tested, and validated a model naloxone Drug Facts Label (DFL) with easy-to-understand pictograms on how to use the drug to encourage manufacturers to pursue approval of OTC naloxone products. The model DFL was used to support the approved application along with the results of a simulated use Human Factors validation study designed to assess whether all the components of the product with which a user would interact could be used safely and effectively as intended.
Through the FDA Overdose Prevention Framework, the agency remains focused on responding to all facets of substance use, misuse, substance use disorders, overdose, and death in the U.S. The framework’s priorities include: supporting primary prevention by eliminating unnecessary initial prescription drug exposure and inappropriate prolonged prescribing; encouraging harm reduction through innovation and education; advancing the development of evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders; and protecting the public from unapproved, diverted, or counterfeit drugs presenting overdose risks.
The FDA granted the OTC approval of Narcan to Emergent BioSolutions.
U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), released the statement below after Federal Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the over-the-counter sale of Narcan, a nasal spray drug that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose and is the standard treatment for opioid overdose. Prior to today’s action by the FDA, this lifesaving medication was available by prescription only.
“This announcement is welcome news for the communities in Virginia and across the country that have been torn apart by the opioid epidemic, including deaths from fentanyl. As we continue pursuing a comprehensive range of solutions to tackle the opioid epidemic, I applaud the FDA for acting to put this lifesaving medication in the hands of more Americans – a move that is sure to fight overdose deaths and save lives.”
Governor Glenn Youngkin signs legislation providing financial support for expecting mothers
41-F Court Square
Harrisonburg VA 22801
On March 29, 2023, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed HB 2290, patroned by Delegate Emily Brewer, and SB 1314, patroned by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, which provides financial support for expecting mothers.
“During Women’s History Month, it was an honor to stand with two extraordinary women who championed this legislation that supports women and mothers across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “These bills recognize that we can do more to support our expecting mothers and ensure they have the needed financial support to take that next step towards creating a family.”
Governor Youngkin signed the following bills :
HB 2290, patroned by Delegate Emily Brewer, and SB 1314, patroned by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, provide that in the event that the initial petition for the establishment of parentage is commenced within six months of the live birth of a child, the judgment or order shall, except for a good cause shown or as otherwise agreed to by the parties, apportion between the legal parents, in proportion to the legal parents’ gross incomes, as used for calculating the monthly child support obligation, (i) the mother’s unreimbursed pregnancy and delivery expenses and (ii) those reasonable expenses incurred by either parent for the benefit of the child prior to the birth of the child.
“HB2290 is landmark legislation that will allow new mothers the opportunity to seek pregnancy and delivery-related expenses. This measure being signed into law will assist in reducing the financial burden on mothers at a time when caring for a newborn is of utmost importance. I am proud to have carried this priority bill on behalf of the Governor, and I am grateful for his commitment to such vital legislation,” said Delegate Emily Brewer.
“Children are such a wonderful blessing, and every day I witness the physical and emotional resiliency of moms. Pregnancy is really hard work. Babies are also expensive, and they need a lot of stuff even before birth. It just makes sense that child support should include the expenses of preparing for a baby. This bill will help moms have better financial resiliency by lifting a little of their load, giving them a chance to worry less, and the ability even to find more time for the joy and hope that babies bring,” said Senator Siobhan Dunnavant.
Want to eat fresh? Buy from the farmer
41-F Court Square
Harrisonburg VA 22801
Buying meat directly from a farmer has been around as long as farming, but these days, the grocery store is about as close as most people get to the farm.
For omnivores who want to keep their dollars local and don’t mind the upfront investment, buying a share of a cow or pig might be a great and surprisingly accessible option, with potential savings and the convenience of always having protein on hand.
1. Think about what you want and how much. If you’re interested in beef, consider that a whole cow could provide 400-600 pounds of meat, a half cow between 200 and 300, and a quarter cow between 100 and 150. A whole 250-pound hog yields about 120-140 pounds of meat, while a half will provide 60-70.
2. Assess your freezer capacity. You’ll need an additional freezer, especially if you purchase your share on your own and intend to keep all of the meat. For reference, a whole butchered hog might fill between half and two-thirds of a 10-cubic-foot chest freezer.
3. Ask friends or family if they’d like to split the purchase.
4. Set a budget, and keep in mind that you’re purchasing meat for up to a year all at once. Buying pork or beef directly from a farmer isn’t automatically cheaper than going to the grocery store — a lot of factors influence the price. Look online for local farmers who sell shares or ask around at farmer’s markets. If you want to purchase from a 4-H kid at the county fair, plan to spend more, but that extra money helps that kid participate the following year.
5. Find a pork or beef (or lamb or veal) producer who can give you what you want at the price you can afford. Remember that specialty options, like custom butchering or delivery, might add to the price.
6. Once your meat is stowed in your freezer, enjoy! Many people find that the taste alone is worth the extra work — and sometimes the extra cash — over meat from the grocery store or even a butcher.
Town Talk: A conversation with Chuck Brome and Rick Logan – South Warren Ruritan Spaghetti Dinner
41-F Court Square
Harrisonburg VA 22801
In this edition of Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Chuck Brome and Rick Logan from the South Warren Ruritan Club. On Saturday, April 15, 2023, the club is hosting its 17th Annual Spaghetti Dinner at Skyline High School. The event takes place in the school cafeteria from 4 pm to 7 pm.
Guests can enjoy unlimited spaghetti, salad, bread, beverages, and dessert. While a donation is requested, it supports a fantastic cause. All proceeds will be used to fund scholarships for local high school students. In addition to the meal, a cake auction and other baked items will be available for purchase to enjoy at home.
Passage Creek Raising will provide entertainment.
The club will also sell flower baskets, just in time for Mother’s Day.
Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. Let us know if you have an idea or topic or want to hear from someone in our community. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com
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