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Mudbog operator wants to expand activities

Mudbog operator Frank Iannarelli met with the Westmoreland Planning Commission during a June 28 work session to consider expanding the list of activities permitted on 14 acres of Business General-BG property at 4618 Leedstown Road.
The work session’s agenda cover sheet described Case # 1007-SE-01 as a “Request by Frank & Shelia Iannarelli, 4618 Leedstown Road, Colonial Beach, VA 22443 for a Special Exception permit to allow any and all outdoor commercial activities as defined in the zoning code.
“In particular, the request included mud or dirt racing and recreation with off road trucks and motorcycles, ball fields, and open field ATV (all terrain vehicles) riding,” the agenda cover sheet relates.
“However, camping is specifically excluded from the request. The property is located at 4618 Leedstown Road, parcel 73 as shown on Zoning District Map 17, Washington Magisterial District.”

Zoning Administrator Robert Fink addressed the project description, noting that “the application requests approval for all types of outdoor recreational activities or uses. The definition [of Commercial Recreation, Outdoor] in the Zoning Ordinance is any outdoor establishment operated as a commercial enterprise (open to the public for a fee) for the following activities:
“Games and athletics, batting and pitching cages, darts, hard and soft courts, miniature golf, radio-controlled vehicles and airplanes, pony rides, waterslides, cultural activities, martial arts, archery, camping, roller or ice skating rinks, skateboarding, picnicking, boating, fishing, swimming, golf driving ranges, and activities incidental to the foregoing, but not including amusement rides, amusement parks, theme parks or automotive race tracks.”
“However,” Fink advised Planning Commission members, “the plans submitted with the application only address a limited number of these activities. In addition to the existing ATV activity area, concession stand, parking area, viewing area, and portable toilets, the site plan shows a football and baseball field, two sand/dirt truck tracks, and a camping area.
“[Land Use Office] staff met with Mr. Iannarelli in November 2009 and explained that the concept of a special ex-ception permit was one in which detailed information was expected and necessary for a review.
“The Planning Commission has a number of issues that the Zoning Code directs them to consider. Any approval, therefore, should be limited to those for which adequate information exists. Review of the application was delayed with Mr. Iannarelli’s agreement in anticipation of more detailed information.”
County Land Use Office staff met with Iannarelli on June 4, 2010. According to Fink, Iannarelli made it known at that time “that he wanted to proceed with the review.
“He also indicated that he had decided not to pursue camping because of the many health and other requirements that are part of an approved campground.
“With regard to the mud racing pit, Mr. Iannarelli told staff at a meeting June 25, 2010, that the application was in-tended to allow trucks to use the northernmost mud pit as well as ATVs.
“He stated that he thought that approval for six events for trucks a year would be enough. He also stated that motor-cycles should be allowed to use the site a well, presumably the open field area for ATV riding.
“It should also be noted that Mr. Iannarelli has stated several times that the audience viewing area may in the future include viewing stands.”
In April 2008 Iannarelli upgraded the zoning of the 14-acre parcel from A-1 to BG. When the mudbog operator’s land use practices were challenged by a neighbor, the Westmoreland Board of Zoning Appeals delivered a Septem-ber 2009 determination that the ATV mudbog activities could occur without a special exception permit from the county government.
Several Leedstown Road neighbors attended this week’s work session and complained about disturbances associated with past activities on Iannarelli’s land. The request will be the subject of a public hearing when the Planning Com-mission meets at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7 in A.T. Johnson auditorium.
No Board of Supervisors hearing on the Iannarelli special exception request had been scheduled when this edition of The Journal went to press.

 

Betsy Ficklin

 

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