The Greene County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a rezoning last Tuesday that takes a property from agriculture to commercial zoning. No one spoke against the rezoning during the public hearing, including adjacent residential property owners.
Martin Investments LLC, owners of 7.5 acres of B-3 zoned property across U.S. Route 29 from the Luck Stone Quarry in Ruckersville, asked to rezone an additional two acres of land from A-1 to B-3 directly behind the property where Blue Ridge Trailers operates. The land abuts the rural neighborhood off Cherub and Forest lanes.
Donna and Rob Martin have owned and operated Blue Ridge Trailers since 2000 under a B-3 zoning and desire the additional land to park trailers.
This area of Greene County was removed from the growth area in the 2010 comprehensive plan, said Jim Frydl, director of planning and zoning administrator for the county.
Frydl told the supervisors the staff could not recommend approval of the rezoning because it’s been designated rural in the comprehensive plan.
“Although the owner is indicating that the parcel will not be developed in the near future, the rezoning would allow all the uses in the B-1, B-2 and B-3 zoning districts to be developed in the rural growth area by future developers,” Frydl said.
The Planning Commission approved the rezoning 4-0 on Jan. 15 with voluntary proffers from the applicant of a 50-foot buffer between the property and residential area and only allowing access to the property off U.S. 29 instead of through the neighborhood.
“We have Roto Rooter to the south of us with industrial zoning. We have huge, huge Luck Stone across the street of us,” Donna Martin said. “It’s phenomenal how you can say that we’re rural when all we want to do is add two acres to our 7.53. It seems a little bit unusual to us.”
Martin said the desire to purchase the contiguous property stems from the business outgrowing its current area.
“We need more land to park trailers, to park inventory and we’ve outgrown what we have,” she said. “What we do in the future is going to be dependent on what Greene County’s growth does over the next how many years. But, what we need right now is to expand our business and to park trailers on that property. We have no intention to build a building on that property. We have no intention to change the 50-foot buffer that blocks our property from Mr. and Mrs. Leake’s residential property which is the only one contiguous. All we want to do it park trailers.”
Barry Leake spoke in favor of the rezoning.
“I can’t believe anyone would want to build a home there with B-3 zoning next to it,” Leake said. “I wouldn’t. My children don’t.”
Martin said Blue Ridge Trailers collects between $80,000-$90,000 annually in Virginia DMV tiling fees. She said the business pays roughly $7,300 in property tax yearly to the county, as well as $4,000-$4,500 annually in business license taxes to Greene. Additionally, Blue Ridge Trailers collects about $19,000 per year in sales and rental taxes. The county receives 1% of all sales taxes collected in Greene back.
“It’s an unusual request and I understand why staff struggled with it a bit,” said Chairman Bill Martin, Stanardsville. “Our comprehensive plan is in fact a guide. It’s not a bible. It’s a guide and there is room for flexibility.”
The next regular supervisors’ meeting is Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the county administration building, 40 Celt Road, Stanardsville.