Supervisors approve SUP for tourist lodging
The Greene County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a special use permit (SUP) for tourist lodging at its virtual April 14 regular meeting for a property in Riverdale Subdivision in Stanardsville. Riverdale is in the A-1 agriculture zoning district, but the structure is an accessory dwelling off the main home, called the tree house, and requires a SUP to operate.
The Planning Commission recommended approval 5-0 at the March 18 meeting.
The main house has five bedrooms, said Jim Frydl, director of planning and zoning administrator. The detached bedroom, which is not part of the main structure because it is connected by a catwalk, is called the treehouse.
“With this special use request, we are just cleaning up the fact that one of the bedrooms is classified by zoning law as a separate structure,” Frydl said.
The property owner, David Vanderveer, also owns contiguous property on all four sides of this property.
Seven people wrote in support of the SUP prior to the meeting and were read aloud during the public hearing. There were no emails sent against the project and no one spoke during the virtual meeting.
“As an adjoining property owner in Riverdale I want to voice my full approval for David Vanderveer’s permit request,” said Kathryn Doerr in an email read into the record via Zoom by Frydl. “He has created a wonderful destination spot here in Greene County that is, in my opinion, unmatched. It is a benefit to both the Riverdale community and this entire area.”
The only condition for the SUP was that it be only for the accessory building connected to the main structure known as the treehouse.
Davis Lamb, Ruckersville, motioned for approval and Steve Bowman, Monroe, seconded.
EDA donates to Shenandoah for work on overlooks
The Greene County Economic Development Authority (EDA) unanimously approved a $5,000 donation to the Shenandoah National Park Foundation at its meeting on April 21, which was postponed from March 17 due to the coronavirus crisis. The EDA held the meeting online via Zoom and telephone.
Alan Yost, Greene County Economic Development and Tourism director, told the EDA the amount will fund deferred maintenance at the four Skyline Drive overlooks of Greene County. The four overlooks on Skyline Drive to Greene County are: South River Overlook at mile 62.5; Bacon Hollow Overlook at mile 69; Ivy Creek Overlook at mile 77.5; and Loft Mountain Overlook at mile 80.
“I had a conversation with the foundation president … and she said it would take $20,000 to clean up and renew the four overlooks,” Yost said. “They secured $10,000 from the foundation trust and $5,000 from another donor so she reached out. The plan in the near future is to change the interpretive signage—not as part of this but something else the foundation is doing—and she negotiated with the park superintendent to have it say something like ‘you’re not overlooking Greene County or Stanardsville.’ The Shenandoah National Park is flat out our greatest asset when you talk about what brings people here.”
Yost said even with that donation and the downturn in tourism right now he still projects to start fiscal year 2021 with $46,000 in cash on hand.
The Tourism Council had already determined the was what they wanted to make, but was not able to give it because it was not something previously allocated in their fiscal year 2020 budget so it was requested of the EDA.
Planning commission OK’s SUP for R-1 tourist lodging
The Planning Commission unanimously approved a special use permit (SUP) for tourist lodging in Deer Lakes Estates Subdivision in Ruckersville at its virtual regular meeting on Wednesday, April 15. Tourist lodging is rentals that are under 30 consecutive days, such as Airbnb rentals.
Tourist lodging is only permitted in R-1 residential zoning through a SUP. It is by-right in both conservation and agricultural zoning in Greene County. This is only the third SUP requested for tourist lodging in R-1 zoning thus far.
Homeowner Chester Hull told the commission he intends to have an agreement with renters about what is and isn’t permitted in his home and has plans for someone local to check on the property when it’s rented and his family is out of town.
One person spoke during the public hearing asking if having tourist lodging as a neighbor could impact property values.
Jim Frydl, director of planning and zoning administrator, said that rental agreements are common to protect the investment in the property and be successful.
“If the property is allowed to slip or not kept up to a pretty good standard then it gets downgraded and the demand economy doesn’t rent it,” Frydl said.
“Our goal is definitely to have a good relationship with our neighbors and that’s something we would want to maintain for sure,” Hull said.
The commission added a condition to the SUP that it is limited to the primary dwelling on the property and does not extended to an auxiliary building.