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Supervisor scrutinizes staff recommendations for annual contract renewals, emergency services equipment purchases

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Presented with the longest Consent Agenda of generally considered routine or “housekeeping” business ever seen in these parts, at least by this reporter and the current clerk of the Warren County Board of Supervisors – 21 items, one with 10 subsections – one board member decided not all of that business was “routine”. This observer would agree, if not on the items selected as needing additional scrutiny.

First-term Fork District Supervisor Vicky Cook requested that three of the 21 Consent Agenda items be pulled for discussion. One of those three, “Renewal of Annual Term Contracts” contained the 10 individual contract renewal subcategories requested for work for specific services “as needed” or on projects that will not be completed by the June 30th end of Fiscal Year-2022. Each of the 10 contract renewal proposals contained the cover sheet staff notation “There is no request for additional funding for FY23.” Existing projects that were continuing into the new fiscal year were also listed.

Fork District Supervisor Vicky Cook wondered at details of staff recommendations for annual service contract renewals despite Consent Agenda packet summaries of those renewals, not to mention staff’s daily availability for one-on-one answers to specific questions on what is generally considered routine or ‘housekeeping’ County business.

In opening her questioning on her three pulled items Cook cited past experience with private-sector contract renewals that saw “scope creep” add to costs beyond those initially authorized. County Administrator Ed Daley responded that, as noted in the cover sheet summaries, “there are limits on all these” contracts and that any additional expenditures would come before the supervisors for approval was the suggestion of add-ons to be made.


That led Cook into a series of exchanges with various Finance, Administrative, Legal, and Emergency Services departmental staff members.

At various points on Tuesday Deputy Finance Director, and past Town purchasing agent, Alisa Scott, Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico, and Finance Director Matt Robertson, among others, responded to questions about contract, funding, and purchasing variables attached to the approaching Fiscal Year-2023 County Budget. Public School officials will also be back for additional discussion next week with state budget variables still in limbo as the July 1 start of the new fiscal year looms.

After an approximate half-hour exchange with those staffers, on Cook’s motion, seconded by Delores Oates, the board approved the 7 of the 10 contract renewal proposals with the exception of D – Fred Andrea Architects for Architectural Services; H – Land Planning & Design Associates for Architectural Services; and I – Racey Engineering, PLLC for Engineering Services. The concern on these three despite ongoing projects listed into the coming fiscal year appeared to be that the original contracts and authorized extensions had lapsed in January of 2022 for two, Andreae and Land Planning and Design; and even earlier – June 2019 for Racey Engineering.

Fire & Rescue requests

In raising her questions Cook cited a background in “contract negotiations” tho that background apparently did not include making the time to discuss her questions about funding and new project variables one-on-one with staff between receipt of the agenda packet the week prior to the meeting and the items coming to the board for what staff considered a routine vote of approval the following Tuesday.

The other two items pulled by Cook involved the purchase of “EMS Treatment and Support Equipment” and “Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)” for the County Fire & Rescue Department. There were costs tied to these F&R requests, a total of $67,484.60 for the EMS Treatments and Support Equipment and $88,150 for the SCBA. However, the staff summary noted that there were available funds in various Fire & Rescue Departmental budgets that would allow the purchases to be made through inter-fund transfers covering those costs.

The staff summary also noted that the SCBA purchase would replace equipment previously acquired through grants to meet OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards that were destroyed in the March 9, 2021, fire that gutted the F&R Department’s Training and Continuing Education Center.

Following several informational exchanges with Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico the board also approved the Fire & Rescue equipment purchases and inter-departmental transfers to accomplish them – the Breathing Apparatus purchase on a motion by Cook, second Walt Mabe; the EMS Treatments and Support Equipment on a motion by Oates, second Cook.
‘County Attorney’ questions

Maiatico also faced questions on another Fire & Rescue Consent Agenda item, this one pulled for legal questions by no-longer Interim County Attorney Jason Ham – the interim was removed from Ham’s title following an hour-and-three-quarter Closed/Executive Session discussion of legal and personnel issues. Also following that Closed Session, Kerry Barnhart was appointed to a four-year term on the Joint Tourism Board tied to the creation of a DMO (Destination Marketing Organization). That term will run from July 1, 2022, thru June 30, 2026.

But back on the Fire & Rescue front, County Attorney Ham explained that he would like a delay on the request to transfer $26,000 from the FY-22 to FY-23 Budget “for the purchase of Occupational Health Services from Life Extension Services, Inc.” in order to give him time to run the request by an attorney in his practice more versed in “employment law” and implications of contracts related to employee Health Care.

Maiatico replied that while he appreciated the attorney’s care in approaching the matter, he was concerned that a delay to the next board meeting of June 28 for approval could jeopardize the department’s desire to continue with the new vendor’s scheduling in the coming fiscal year for those employee health care services – staff physical exams. Maiatico suggested the board allow the county administrator to authorize moving forward to lock in dates on those planned physical exams, maintaining the option to “pull the plug” prior to July 1 were Ham’s law partner’s recommendation to do so over unforeseen consequences on overall coverage.

County Attorney Jason Ham, right, like County Administrator Ed Daley to his right, now has the ‘interim’ removed from his title. Daley and Ham were on the same page on allowing Fire & Rescue Dpt. to proceed with a locking in of dates for physical exams for staff in the coming fiscal year as part of contracted Health Care services, if not yet final approval of contracting those services.

Ham noted he had not been aware of the time-sensitive nature of the request and said he would be fine with Maiatico’s suggested course of action. County Administrator Daley then suggested the board approve a motion authorizing him to sign the $26,000 budget carryover request “with the concurrence of the county attorney”. And on a motion by Oates, they did so.

See these discussions, votes, and other business that will be reported in a coming Royal Examiner story, in this linked County video.

 

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EDA in Focus

FR-WC EDA moves to guarantee records protection during transition to County IT oversight, goes to Closed Session on litigation, business matters

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The Front Royal-Warren County EDA held a special meeting on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at 3:00 PM at the EDA Office on Kendrick Lane. All five Board members, legal counsel, and the County Director of Economic Development were present.

The meeting began with the discussion of moving the February Regular Meeting from Friday, February 24, to Tuesday, February 28 at 8:00 AM. The schedule change was unanimously approved.

Following the schedule discussion, the Board requested legal counsel to draft an agreement to protect EDA records in order to move forward with the information technology transition with the County.

The Board concluded the meeting with a closed session to discuss potential disposition of real property to business prospects, the small business loan committee applications, and legal consultation regarding active litigation. There was no new business following the closed session.


As noted above, the next regular monthly Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 8:00 AM at the Warren County Government Center.

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County overseen FR-WC EDA reviews Conservancy Park status, Small Business Loan Committee applications, future property marketing options

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The Front Royal Warren County EDA held its monthly meeting on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 8:00 AM at the Warren County Government Center. Four Board members, legal counsel, and the County Director of Economic Development were present. Chairman Jeff Browne participated remotely.

The regular meeting began with a discussion regarding a potential utility easement through the EDA’s Happy Creek Technology Park property to a neighboring parcel. The proposed development is in its early stages although the utilities could create a loop through the business park while also accommodating any potential future development on adjacent properties. The Board of Directors has concerns with any easements that may encumber any EDA owned property, however, they are open to future discussions if it can create an overall cohesive development area.

As part of the Committee Reports, Jorie Martin and Joe Petty provided an update regarding the Avtex Conservancy Property and recent presentations to the Board of Supervisors and Town Council. Mrs. Martin mentioned the interest in issuing an RFI (Request For Information) for the remaining property, and a work session may be scheduled to review the document.

Treasurer, Jim Wolfe, and the Director of Economic Development Joe Petty provided an update on the financial statements and the Board of Supervisors will soon begin having meetings regarding the Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget.


Royal Examiner file photo of EDA Board meeting, with full board and county director of economic development present.

Staff from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) provided a presentation regarding the Virginia Business Ready Site Program (VBRSP) and ways the EDA can position its available properties. The discussion gave the Board better insight into the types of businesses interested in locating in Virginia and types of assets they look for in property.

The FR-WC EDA is still looking for applicants to take part in the Small Business Loan Committee. The EDA approved four (4) certificates of satisfactions for previous loans that have been successfully paid off. The Board also approved two amendments to existing leases for C-CAP and the Happy Creek Technology Park Grazing Lease.

The Board concluded the meeting with a closed session to discuss potential disposition of real property to business prospects, the small business loan committee applications, and legal consultation. No new business followed the closed session.

The next regular monthly Board meeting will be held on Friday, February 24, 2023, at 8:00 AM at the Warren County Government Center.

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By 3-2 vote Town Council votes to seek additional information on Holloway alley ‘vacation’ request

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Following a public hearing at its meeting of January 23rd, a divided Front Royal Town Council voted to appoint ostensibly neutral “viewers” with experience with vacating public alleys to visit and examine a Town alleyway members of former Mayor Chris Holloway’s family are seeking for “vacation” – no, not to sunnier shores, but rather into the ownership hands of Mr. and Mrs. William (father of Chris) Holloway and Mr. and Mrs. Wade (brother of Chris) Holloway – for their personal use.

Council’s 3-2 vote, Skip Rogers and Bruce Rappaport dissenting, to seek more information from “neutral” observers came after hearing from eight citizens during the public hearing. And if not neutral, those town citizen stakeholders opposing the requested privatization of the Town alleyway into the two Holloway families’ hands did bring their own histories of alleyway usage and maintenance to the table.

Seven of eight speakers, either residents whose home properties abut the alley or members of the Church of the Brethren, which also abuts the alley, all urged denial of the request so as not to limit their use of and rear-access to their properties and homes from the alley between 12th and 13th Streets off of Virginia Avenue. On the church side, use of the alley to facilitate emergency evacuations of as many as 70 to 80 members, were an emergency to occur during Sunday services, was noted.

Perspectives on the non-paved alleyway being sought for vacating and ownership by members of the Holloway family. The first shot is looking west from Virginia Ave. Church of the Brethren is to the right. The second shot is taken from the Church of the Brethren parking lot at the midway point of the alley, and the third shot shows the far end of the alley at adjoining properties. Whoever owns it, it looks like a little entrance-way maintenance is in order.


The only public hearing speaker for the proposed vacation to the Holloway family was Joe Silek Jr., the applicant’s legal representative. The applicants themselves did not address council at the public hearing. Silek told council that his clients had been “taking care of the alley for years.” However, one Church of the Brethren member, Lee Keeler, noted that the church had contracted Lee’s Lawn Care for mowing the dirt and grass alleyway, and other neighboring property owners noted their own activities in maintaining the alley for ease of access to their properties for moving heavy materials or furniture through closer rear entrances.

One neighboring speaker, Wayne Woodward, said he liked the Holloways but was against privatizing the alley for their personal use. He said he asked Wade Holloway if it was really necessary and why they were asking to transfer ownership of the long publicly accessible Town-owned alley to themselves. “Because we can,” Woodward reported of the recent mayor’s brother’s reply. Chris Holloway left office at the turn of the year after deciding not to run for re-election last year. His previous year-plus in office had been marked by public debate following staff revelations that he and fired former Town Manager Steven Hicks appeared to use their respective offices to pressure Town Planning Department personnel into hurried, out-of-process approval of non-code compliant permitting of a six-unit residential building project of the mayor’s construction company near South Street in town.

The reason a council majority felt the need for additional information than that gathered from staff, involved citizens, and the applicant prior to a vote of approval or denial was addressed by Amber Morris, who, after some discussion with Town Attorney George Sonnett, made the motion to seek more information prior to a vote.

Amber Morris made the motion to contract third-party ‘viewers’ to report to council prior to a vote on approval or denial of the Holloway family request to acquire ownership rights to the unpaved Town alleyway utilized by neighboring property owners, including Church of the Brethren members.

After noting options to approve or deny the project directly following the public hearing, Morris said, “And then the third motion, which is the motion I made, which allows us to appoint viewers that have experience in vacating alleyways. We do have feedback from town staff regarding utilities and things of that nature, and we do have feedback from adjoining property owners and some of the stakeholders in that area. And so the motion that I’ve proposed would allow an unbiased presentation and report of factual information about vacating this alleyway.”

How that “unbiased” report will be weighed by council against the subjective explanations of neighboring property owners and church member stakeholders heard at the public hearings as to the reasons for their opposition based on long-time use of the public right-of-way remains to be seen. But from their pre-vote remarks, it appeared Rogers and Rappaport were both ready to cast votes of denial of the request that evening.

Councilmen Skip Rogers and Bruce Rappaport, latter below, told their colleagues they believed enough information had been acquired through impacted citizen input, staff reports, and applicant submissions to reach a decision of denial of the vacation and acquisition request of the Holloway family members that evening. Three of their colleagues did not agree.

“I’d really like council to consider who is benefiting from vacating the property,” Councilman Rogers said preceding the vote, noting a definite benefit to the applicants.

However, he added, “Who is not benefiting from the property vacating are those folks who have been using that property, that right of way if you will, for many, many years. So, I ask council to consider that as well,” Rogers concluded.

Rappaport followed Rogers comments from a similar perspective: “The alley has been as it is for 28 years, that’s been made clear. I believe that the alley should remain open for public use. It’s clear that the church has said that they use it, and they maintain it as well as the applicant Holloway. And I just have a problem with the vacation process when it’s clear that there are, even though it’s clear that many of the (church) members don’t live next door, they still have a right as users of the alleyway. And I think it would be best to leave it open,” Rappaport said in joining Rogers in favor of a vote to deny with the information council already had.

Click here to see the public hearing and subsequent council discussion beginning at the 38-minute mark of the Town video; Mayor Cockrell calls for a vote on the motion to hire neutral viewers to develop a report on the alley vacation application at the 1:16:15 video mark.

 

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Town Police Chief Magalis acknowledges departmental personnel movement and promotions accomplished in-house

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At the January 23rd Front Royal Town Council meeting, Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis introduced officers recently promoted in the department and others recently brought on board. Near the meeting’s outset (beginning at the 6:30 mark of the Town video below), Chief Magalis brought six of seven FRPD officers forward for acknowledgment. Now-Major Jason Ryman was not present for the presentation.

“I always look forward to this type of a presentation where we can talk about some new folks that we’ve brought on and folks that we’re moving into different areas of the department,” the chief told Mayor Cockrell and council in opening his presentation.

Magalis noted the recent retirement of Major Kevin Nicewarner at the outset of the new year, whom Chief Magalis noted was “Florida” and “Gulf Coast bound” after nearly 30 years with the department, in explaining the personnel juggling involving incumbent officers Captain Brian Whited, Sergeant Tony Clingerman, Corporal Michael Gallagher, and Major Jason Ryman.

Chief Magalis then introduced recent departmental additions (from right to left in photo and Town video) Jacob Dodson, and Richard Williamson, both on patrol duty since September, and Jack Weaver, a Front Royal native who transferred to FRPD from the Winchester Police Department.


Chief Magalis, at the podium, introduced, from left, Captain Brian Whited, Sergeant Tony Clingerman, Corporal Michael Gallagher, and recently added FRPD Officers Jack Weaver, Richard Williamson, and Jacob Dodson. Now-Major Jason Ryman was not present. Below, council and the mayor pose for a photo with the acknowledged FRPD officers.

The chief then segued back to his departmental veterans (again right to left in photo and video) Corporal Michael Gallagher (promoted from Master Police Officer), Sergeant Tony Clingerman (promoted from Corporal), and Captain Brian Whited (from Sergeant), and the absent Major Jason Ryman (from Operations Captain). Chief Magalis noted that now-Captain Whited would take over Logistics Captain duties as Captain Crystal Cline, who had previously handled those duties, moved to Operations.

“So, quite a bit of movement, we’ve got some new faces, and I’m happy to report at this time,” the chief said with a nod to Town Manager Joe Waltz, the Human Resources Department, and council, “We’re actually fully staffed” whispering the last two words, observing that, “Right now, and I’m proud to say it because there isn’t a whole lot of law enforcement agencies that are operating with a full enforcement staff. And right now,” the chief added knocking on the wooden podium, “we are.”

He noted a vacancy in communications but concluded, “We’re very happy where we’ve been able to bring recruitment and retention to. And that’s something we’re going to talk to you guys about as we keep trying to move that forward … so we can continue to attract qualified people like these gentlemen here and retain all that institutional knowledge instead of letting them walk out the door because we’ve been able to staff this from in house and that’s awesome … I’d just like you to congratulate all these guys for coming on board and doing such a great job,” Chief Magalis concluded, leading to a standing ovation from portions of the crowd and council dais.

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Council upholds BAR denial of demolition permit for portions of old ‘Murphy Theater building’ in Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District

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After hearing from SEESUU LLC applicant Gary Wayland (1:18:48 linked video mark) and his real estate agent Bill Barnett (1:29:22 mark), as well as three other public hearing speakers reiterating points made by 14 speakers at the December 13th Board of Architectural Review (BAR) public hearing opposing the SEESUU application for a partial demolition permit for the historic “Murphy Theater” building at 131 East Main Street, the Front Royal Town Council unanimously upheld the BAR denial of that application.

Board of Architectural Review denies partial demolition application for Murphy Theater building

Councilwoman Amber Morris offered the motion on the appeal (1:41:03 mark). Citing the record of the BAR public hearing and “additional evidence” her motion was to “… affirm the decision of the Board of Architectural Review, the BAR, denying the issuance of Certificate of Appropriateness on the application submitted by SEESUU LLC to demolish and remove a portion of a contributing structure on a property located at 131 East Main Street …” Morris’s motion was seconded by Vice-Mayor Wayne Sealock, leading to the unanimous vote upholding the BAR denial.

Citing a family history of involvement in town historical preservation, Amber Morris made the motion to uphold the BAR denial of the partial demolition permit for 131 E. Main St., also known as the old Murphy Theater building. Below, attorney David Silek cited a past family history of ownership of the building in arguing against demolition of any portion of the historic structure.

Addressing council on reasons to uphold the BAR denial were David Silek (1:21:00), a family member of past owners of the property; Ellen Aders (1:26:50), a neighboring resident, business and property owner; and James Smithlin (1:35:10), who offered observations on the historic nature of the terra cotta portion of the old theater building “made before talking movies” he noted, targeted for demolition. Those speakers, as several council members later would, pointed to the applicant’s lack of structural engineer’s report citing the condition and viability of renovation as opposed to demolition of the old theater and rear residential portions of the building.


“When you buy property in a Historic District it comes with a great responsibility. You’re buying into what is and what will be the story of out town,” Aders began, adding of other Historic District property owners, “To allow demolition of the Murphy Theater would be a punch in the gut to folks like the Poes, who are bringing life back to the old Warren Paint & Supply building; the Barnharts, who searched tirelessly for just the right stone for the Weaver building’s facade, and the Capital Gate,” Aders said of the group she pointed out is bringing the Afton Inn back to usability, among other Historic District property owners, “who take great pride in maintaining their little piece of Front Royal’s history.”

Adjacent and nearby property owner Ellen Aders urged council not to deliver a ‘punch to the gut’ of Front Royal Historic District property owners who are committed to preservation along lines of Historic District structural ambiance and restoration.

Aders then referenced the BAR public hearing at which she also spoke, pointing to a reluctance by the applicant to provide sought-after information. “If you watched the BAR public hearing you saw a total unwillingness on the part of the owner of the Murphy Theater. He denied the BAR access to the interior; he denied the request for a structural engineer’s survey; he refused to provide a cost analysis of restoration versus demolition and new construction.”

Aders also pointed to occupied apartments and daily meetings held “like clockwork” in the targeted portions of the building. Just because the owner is unwilling to restore the building, doesn’t mean that it’s ready to be torn down,” Aders concluded in urging council to reject the denial appeal.

Following SEESUU real estate representative Barnett to the podium, Smithlin opened by noting online research indicating terra cotta as “the oldest building material known to man”. Noting a personal 31-year history of meetings in the building, Smithlin said, “I’ve never seen a piece of tile or a whole tile fall.” While citing great respect for both the applicant and his real estate agent, he noted, “That building is over a hundred years old and is part of Front Royal’s Historic District. It would be tragic to tear it down, rather than restore it. As he closed he noted the Murphy Theater dated to “before they had talking movies” in urging council not to overturn the BAR demolition denial.

“I’m here to do something good for the town, that’s my intent and that’s really all I have to say,” Wayland told council in opening the public hearing when called to the podium by the mayor. He noted that the email he had sent to the town manager for distribution to council prior to the meeting was his intended “for the record” statement for the appeal hearing.

SEESUU LLC principal Gary Wayland asserted his plan to demolish and rebuild rear sections at 131 E. Main St. was a ‘good thing’ for the town and its Historic Downtown area. Below, SEESUU real estate agent Bill Barnett told council that restoration of the terra cotta portion of the building, particularly the towering 70-foot tall theater stage section, is impractical because it is ‘functionally obsolete’. He did not address the functionality of the rear, apartment section, also targeted for demolition.

After introducing himself as a real estate agent with a track record of restoration projects in downtown Front Royal, including “seven on Chester Street when it was one of the most run-down streets in the town” Barnett attempted to tie the SEESUU plans for the Murphy Theater building, including 40 or more “dwelling units” too small to be termed apartments by town code, to that track record. Pointing to the 40 x 40, 75-foot tall tower section of the terra cotta, theater/stage portion of the building, Barnett said that it, “Is totally functionally obsolete. There is no commercial or residential use that you can apply to this property today. The challenge of it is to find a way to put this property back into use, so it’s producing taxes and jobs and places for people to work and to live.”

Two views of the old Murphy Theater building and applicant’s rendering of rebuild. The oldest sections are the commercial addition facing East Main, added in 1908/09, and the original Methodist Church section dating to 1879, which is the darker bricked section behind the E. Main commercial addition that goes two windows back along Church St. The lighter terra cotta (believed dating to 1920s) and rear apartment section (circa 1940s or ’50s) are the targeted for demolition portions of the building.

But if the applicant and his agent were selling the SEESUU partial demolition and rebuild project as a positive for the historic downtown community, neither the public nor council was buying.

On the council side, the reviews of the demolition proposal and subsequent rebuild weren’t too positive. Addressing the applicant, Councilman Skip Rogers (1:48:16 mark) pointed to the period architectures involved in, not only the targeted building, but the Historic District in general. “We love the architecture, we love the feel, we love the comments of the folks that come into our community and appreciate how beautiful it is, what a feel you get when you go into the downtown area. So, my one concern, sir, is the impact that demolition would have,” Rogers paused, then referenced what he had seen in renderings of the reconstruction proposal.

“When I looked at that rendering I honestly thought of a contemporary prison, a very stark, almost aluminum-appearing structure, bright and shiny and static. And that in itself was enough for me to say this is not the way I believe our community needs to grow.”

Councilman Skip Rogers described renderings of the applicant’s plans for a rebuild as ‘very stark’ reminding him of ‘a contemporary prison’ and ‘not the way I believe our community needs to grow’. Below, the BAR and town planning staff at terra cotta section on site visit several days before their Dec. 13 public hearing and vote of denial of the SEESUU partial demolition permit application. The BAR was not granted inside access. But it looks like a little exterior maintenance along cracked section of the approximately 100-year-old terra cotta bricks might be in order. Final photos are the applicant’s renderings of the rebuild from front and rear.

Having made the motion to uphold the BAR denial, Councilwoman Morris cited her family history in the community and its ties to the historic memory of the community (1:45:46 mark), stating, “I really care about the preservation of the Historic District and I do have a vision for Front Royal. And unfortunately, and I mentioned this in the work session,” she said of comments on ownership in the Historic District, continuing, “and other people have touched on this – when you purchase a building of this magnitude with these plans in place, you know these costs and these things are going to arise. It’s a property owner’s responsibilities. And with that being said, with the current rendering we’d be foolish as a council  … to approve this without a vision of what we intend to see moving forward.”

Morris also addressed the by-right aspect of denial after an unsuccessful year of attempting to sell a building denied demolition in the Historic District raised at earlier work session discussion. She reasoned that offered at a reasonably assessed value to parties interested in Historic ownership and restoration as the applicable town code indicates should be done, it would likely find a buyer.

And if Rogers had compared the rebuild renderings to a prison, Morris was perhaps gentler in her assessment – “The current rendering looks like something, I know some people have mentioned Georgetown, for me it looks like something I’d find in Miami. And it’s not the vision I have for Front Royal or our Historic Downtown that we all know and love.”

See these and other comments in the Town video.

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Supervisors hold initial third monthly meeting to deal with Short-Term Rental-fueled increase in public hearing numbers

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On January 24, at 6 p.m., the Warren County Board of Supervisors held their newly added third meeting to deal with the influx of public hearings, largely driven by Short-Term “Tourist” Rental permitting applications. Nine of the 14 public hearings that night were on Short-Term Rental applications. These Public Hearing-driven meetings will be a regular part of the supervisor’s schedule moving forward.

But prior to getting down to scheduled business, Board Chairman Vicky Cook acknowledged the passing of Company 8 District Fire & Rescue Chief Homer Cross the previous day, asking those listening to remember “his family, his friends, and his colleagues in your thoughts and prayers during this time of heartache.”

 

Chair Vicky Cook opened the meeting with a remembrance of Company 8 District Fire & Rescue Chief Homer Cross before setting the supervisor’s sights on their 14 public hearing agenda. Perhaps fortunately, nine of those public hearings had no speakers, and only one reached as many as four.

 

Below is a list of the 14 January 24th public hearings topics with the staffer’s name and position presenting the item and the board’s action on them:
C. Public Hearings (unless otherwise indicated there were no public hearing speakers):


1. Ordinance to Amend and Re-Ordain Section 160-62 of the Warren County Code – Caitlin Jordan, Senior Assistant County Attorney – Result: On a motion by Walt Mabe, seconded by Cheryl Cullers, the proposed Ordinance Amendment was approved by 4-0 vote, Delores Oates absent due to illness according to the chair.

2. Sale of County-Owned Real Property Located at 30 East Jackson Street – Alisa Scott, Finance Director – Result: On a motion by Jay Butler, seconded by Mr. Mabe, the sale at a price of $200,000 to TCG Real Estate Holdings LLC was approved by a 4-0 vote.

This 30 E. Jackson St. property was approved for sale at $200,000 to TCG Real Estate Holdings LLC.

3. Modification Request for Conditional Use Permit 97-11-01, Alan Munson for Commercial Campground, Canoeing, Boating (kayaking and inner-tubing) and Fishing Equipment Rental and Sales Located at 192 Panhandle Road and Identified on Tax Map 34 as Lot 3B – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: On a motion by Ms. Cullers, seconded by Mr. Mabe, the CUP Modification request was approved by a 4-0 vote.

4. Modification Request for Conditional Use Permit 2015-01-01, Gillian Greenfield & Richard Butcher for Private Use Camping (Non-Commercial) Located off Beech Road and Identified on Tax Map 13C, Section 1, Block 1, as Lot 206 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: After hearing from four public hearing speakers, including applicant Gillian Greenfield, two Shenandoah Shores residents opposing the private use application, and a SSPOA official who sought tabling of the matter to resolve legal oversight authority questions, on a motion by Mr. Mabe, seconded by Ms. Cullers, the board voted 4-0 to table the matter to acquire additional information to be discussed at a February work session before returning to the board for a vote.

5. Conditional Use Permit 2022-10-02, Maura & Daan De Raedt for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 54 Arrowood Road and Identified on Tax Map 23A, Section 1, Block 4, Lot 1 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: After hearing from applicant, Reston resident Daan De Taedt, and an adjoining neighbor asking for denial of the application by absentee owners, the board on a motion by Ms. Cullers, seconded by Mr. Mabe, voted 4-0 to deny the CUP application.

6. Conditional Use Permit 2022-10-03, Wendy C. Willis for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 154 Woodthrush Way and Identified on Tax Map 24D, Section 11, Block 00, Lot 1012 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: On a motion by Mr. Mabe, seconded by Ms. Cullers, the board approved the CUP application by a 4-0 vote.

7. Conditional Use Permit 2022-10-04, Anthony Constable for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 195 Old Oak Lane and Identified on Tax Map 15E, Section 2, Block 2, Lot 628 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: On a motion by Mr. Mabe, seconded by Ms. Cullers, the board approved the CUP application by a 4-0 vote.

8. Conditional Use Permit 2022-11-01, Jacob Horowitz for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 5433 Gooney Manor Loop and Identified on Tax Map 44 as Lot 18 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: On a motion by Ms. Cullers, seconded by Mr. Mabe, the board approved the CUP application by a 4-0 vote.

9. Conditional Use Permit 2022-11-02, Jeffrey May for Gunsmithing Services Located at 425 Valley Road and Identified on Tax Map 30C, Section 1, Block 2, Lot 19 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: On a motion by Mr. Butler, seconded by Ms. Cullers, the board approved the CUP application by a 4-0 vote.

10. Conditional Use Permit 2022-11-03, Lydia Freeman for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 400 Chipmunk Trail Lane and Identified on Tax Map 24A, Section 210, Lot 420 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: After hearing from one nearby neighbor in opposition to the application, on a motion by Mr. Mabe, seconded by Ms. Cullers, the board approved the CUP application by a 3-1 vote, Mr. Butler dissenting.

11. Conditional Use Permit 2022-11-04, Sergiu Luca for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 104 Marino Lane and Identified on Tax Map 15D, Section 2, Block 5, Lot 128A – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: After hearing from one adjacent neighbor in support of the CUP application, on a motion by Mr. Mabe, seconded by Mr. Butler, the board approved the application by a 4-0 vote.

12. Conditional Use Permit 2022-11-05, Stacy Weng for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 5 Oakwood Drive and Identified on Tax Map 13C, Section 1, Block B, Lot 10A – Matt Wendling, Planning Director – Result: On a motion by Mr. Butler, seconded by Ms. Cullers, the board approved the CUP application by a 4-0 vote.

13. Conditional Use Permit 2022-11-06, Matthew Williams & Jay Gilbert for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 1862 Khyber Pass Road and Identified on Tax Map 23A, Section 321, Lot 1A – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: On a motion by Ms. Cullers, seconded by Mr. Mabe, the board approved the CUP application by a 3-1 vote, Mr. Butler dissenting.

14. Conditional Use Permit 2022-11-07, Matthew Williams & Jay Gilbert for a Short-Term Tourist Rental Located at 1424 Khyber Pass Road and Identified on Tax Map 23A, Section 935, Lot 28 – Chase Lenz, Zoning Administrator – Result: After hearing from applicant Matthew Williams, on a motion by Ms. Cullers, seconded by Mr. Mabe, the board approved the CUP application by a 3-1 vote, Mr. Butler completing a trifecta of “No” votes on Short-Term-Rental CUP applications in Skyline Estates, these last two and an earlier one by the De Raedts in which his colleagues joined him in denying the application.

Their business completed, the chairman adjourned the meeting at 7:48 p.m.

Click here to see the staff summaries of the public hearing items, including Planning Department recommended conditions, board discussion, motions, and votes in the County video.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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