hazel20160120

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 20160323cctower

 

Planning Commission reviews action items

Members of the Westmoreland County Planning Commission gathered this Monday afternoon to review land use requests that will be public hearing subjects during the Commission’s July 2 session.

The Commission had not assembled since May 7 because there was no public business for its members to entertain.

On June 25 the Commissioners learned the construction activity and improvements in the Stratford Hall’s visitor reception area did not occur in the year that followed local government approval to proceed. As a result, the approvals will very soon expire. Executive Director Paul Reber has asked the county to extend its approvals for an additional 365 days.

“The construction of this facility will be financed with donated funds, and we have yet to secure commitments adequate to begin construction. It is our hope these commitments will be in hand by early 2013, enabling us to advance this important project,” Reber advised County Planning Director Robert Fink in the correspondence dated May 7.

A Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act exception application will top the agenda when the Commissioners meet at 1:30 next Monday afternoon in A.T. Johnson auditorium.

County Planner Beth McDowell explained the request brought by Lawrence McHugh. The pre-existing waterfront home at 1043 North Glebe Road in Glebe Harbor subdivision is situated inside the Act’s 100-foot Resource Protection Area (RPA) and the applicant wants to replace an existing deck with an attached two-story garage.

“This is a pre-Chesapeake Bay Act lot, which means that administrative approval may be given for a single-family home to encroach up to the 50-foot RPA, provided the encroachment is the minimum necessary,” McDermott told the Westmoreland Planning Commissioners. “In this case, the existing house is a two-story structure of approximately 3,154 square feet, and the proposed two-story addition is 1,152 square feet. This exceeds the square footage total that the Land Use Administration office has established as the upper threshold to qualify as the minimum necessary to receive administrative approval.”

Allison, Baird & Sehl designed the proposed improvements and on June 25 McDermott and David Baird explained that the property’s existing impervious cover will be reduced if the Bay Act exception is approved. The proposal includes vegetative plantings and collection of 100 percent of the impervious cover’s storm water.

The other land use business scheduled for hearing on July 2 is the special exception application brought by Marie Yeatman and Bayshore Design. Approval of the special exception to the county’s zoning code would enable the currently existing store to be demolished and a service station/mini-mart to be erected on that Agricultural, A-1 property.

Planning and Community Director Bob Fink explained the request to the Planning Commission members on June 25.

“The site has long been used as a store selling gasoline and many other items. At one-half acre, the site is cleared and flat with an existing fuel island, store building, well-house, and paved or graveled areas.

“The property is zoned A-1, Agriculture, but no record was found of a special use permit for that activity. However, as a use apparently in place before such a permit would be required, its status under the zoning ordinance would be considered as conforming and as if it had the necessary special exception permit for the pre-existing uses. “A special exception permit is required at this time because of the significant changes proposed to the existing development.”

Because the old store would be completely demolished and replaced with a new structure, a special exception approval is being sought. Anticipating sewage collection services as soon as Spring 2014, Dan Hess, the prospective buyer of the half acre property at 3128 Erica Road, has obtained Virginia Department of Health approval to utilize septic holding tanks and pump and haul accommodations as a temporary measure. Existing septic drain fields did not comply with contemporary standards for new development.

 

Betsy Ficklin

 

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