A Public Hunting Preserve Gets SUP

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2010

BUCKINGHAM – When the board of supervisors met on November 9, they agreed with recommendations from the planning commission and approved two special use permits-one for a public hunting preserve and the other for a year-round camp.

<center>SUP for Public Hunting Preserve Approved

The first special use permit, SUP, approved on Tuesday night authorizes Blue Rock Resources and Kyanite Mining Corporation to operate a public hunting preserve.

Email newsletter signup

Rebecca Cobb, zoning administrator and planner, explained the owners currently operate a private hunting preserve on the land. The preserve is licensed by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Cobb explained that operating the property as a public hunting preserve requires a special use permit.

She said the planning commission held a public hearing on the request at its October 25 meeting.

According to Cobb's report, the hearing did not draw public comments regarding either the approval or disapproval of the request. She noted the commission recommended including nine conditions for the special use permit.

A narrative accompanying the application explained the move to a public game preserve was prompted by numerous inquiries pertaining to the current preserve.

Information in the narrative offered, “Hunters come in to hunt during legal hunting season. We supply game which would be predominantly quail that will be raised on the preserve for the hunters.”

The narrative shared that commercial operation of the preserve should be an asset to local businesses providing food, gasoline, and lodging.

Additionally, the narrative noted that visitors may appreciate the beauty and country lifestyle offered in Buckingham and decide they want to reside in the county or possibly start a business here.

The preserve includes properties on Routes 623, 792, 712, and 736 in the Curdsville Magisterial District.

In making the motion to approve the special use permit, Supervisor John Kitchen reiterated that no objections to the SUP were voiced during the commission's hearing.

SUP for Year-Round Camp Approved

Supervisors also approved a special use permit for a proposed camp on property formerly used as the New Dominion School, a therapeutic wilderness school for teens. The school, operated by Three Springs, Inc., closed several years ago.

Cobb said C. Douglas Branch and Jefferson Catlett currently own the land, which encompasses 169 acres off Route 628 in the Curdsville Magisterial District. However, at the time of the November 9 meeting, the property was under contract.

Information in the board packet shared that LINKS, Learning Independence and Necessary Knowledge, LLC, of Richmond, is proposing a year-round camp for youth and adults. LINKS plans to utilize the outdoors environment in a high adventure spirit.

During the summer, LINKS would offer programs for children and youth. In the non-summer seasons, the owners plan to use the facility for corporate retreats, adult camp activities, and group programs.

Wireless Communication Tower Regulations Approved

At its October meeting, the board postponed action on a proposed update to Article 9, the county's Radio, Television and Wireless Communication Tower Amendment of the Zoning Ordinance until several suggested changes could be included in the proposal.

During Tuesday night's meeting, supervisors adopted Article 9 as revised.

Last month, Susan Rabold, with CityScape, a consultant firm working with the county on a wireless communication tower master plan, said some of the major revisions to Article 9 included the organization of the article to make it more user friendly. The changes also offer a siting hierarchy with the goal of having fewer towers by encouraging co-location and use of existing structures.

Additionally, Rabold said the article includes a list of county-owned properties that would be available for new telecommunication infrastructure.

Subsequently, after approving the changes to Article 9, the Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed Wireless Telecommunications Master Plan. The plan represents several years of work by the planning commission, board of supervisors, and Cityscape Consultants, LLC.

After the hearing, which did not draw any public comments, the board approved the master plan as presented.


Concurring with a request from the school board, supervisors approved revisions in the school division's FY11 budget.

The revisions include the receipt of a $1,725 grant from Project Discovery; and, $428,973 approved by supervisors in October 2009 for the bus garage.

The county administrator noted that the $428,973 would be drawn from the $700,000 budgeted for school debt service.

Responding to a request from Sheriff William G. Kidd, Jr., supervisors approved a transfer of $12,000 from the courtroom security fund to the part-time salary line. The funds will be used to pay part-time personnel for courtroom security.

The board also approved a request from the sheriff to transfer ownership of three surplus patrol vehicles to the school board.

Supervisors agreed to a request from Stephanie Midkiff, commissioner of the revenue, for a tax reimbursement of $1,412.05 to Central Virginia Maintenance, Incorporated. In a memo, Midkiff explained the company was assessed the wrong amount for a vehicle.

Three Hearings Set for December 13

During her report, Zoning Administrator Cobb requested supervisors schedule a public hearing for proposed changes to the subdivision ordinance.

Cobb explained the changes were supposed to be included in the revisions recently approved by the board but were inadvertently omitted. She said the planning commission held a public hearing on the changes at its October meeting.

According to Cobb, the changes include deed restrictions on all RSA, rural small farm, subdivisions barring further divisions.

“However if someone did not want to put those restrictions on their property, they could apply for R-1 (residential),” stated Cobb.

Supervisors scheduled the hearing for 7:15 p.m. at its December 13 meeting.

Responding to a request from Kevin Flippen, E-911 coordinator, the board agreed to schedule a public hearing on December 13, at 7:20, on the proposed street sign and address marker ordinance.

County Administrator Rebecca Carter added that Flippen has worked with the county attorney, who has approved the changes.

Supervisors also scheduled a hearing to consider amending the coyote bounty ordinance.

According to Supervisor Kitchen, some hunters have requested the ordinance be changed to require the coyote's tongue to be clipped rather than its ear. Explaining the reasoning for the change, he said some of the hunters would like to have the coyote mounted and would prefer the ear not be clipped.

During the discussion, Supervisor Bill Talbert suggested the animal control officer be at the December meeting to explain the coyote bounty and whether or not it is successful.

Karl Carter, assistant county administrator, shared that from June 2009 to July 2010, bounties were paid for 50 coyotes. “And so far this year, we've had 11,” he said.

Request for Pedestrian Crossing

County Administrator Carter advised supervisors that although VDOT's local government liaison Jorg Huckabee-Mayfield was unable to attend the meeting, she did send a report.

Carter said the report included information about VDOT approving the county's request for a temporary pedestrian crossing on Route 60 during the construction of the county administration complex.

Supervisor Brian Bates asked about the possibility of VDOT providing a temporary flashing light at the site. With the switch to Eastern Standard Time, Bates said it would soon be dark when the employees cross the highway as they leave work in the evening.

Carter offered that she had requested flashing signs but did not know whether VDOT was planning to use lighted signage.

Supervisor Talbert asked whether the county could put up the lighted signs if VDOT does not. Carter replied that she would check into that possibility.

Later in the meeting, the board approved a resolution authorizing the county to apply for funding through the VDOT Enhancement Program.

Karl Carter explained the process now requires the board pass a resolution to apply for the funding.

Noting that the county did not receive enough money from the previous grant award to complete the Buckingham Court House Village Streetscape Improvement Project, Carter said the county's match could be met with in-kind services. He added that the Commonwealth Regional Council would be assisting the county with the application process.

Kitchen Will Serve

BUCKINGHAM – Supervisor John Kitchen agreed during November's meeting to serve as the county's alternate representative on the Commonwealth Regional Council.

Prior to the appointment, Carter explained that Supervisor Danny LeSueur, who was absent from Tuesday night's meeting, is the board's representative on the CRC. However, she said that due to his current work schedule is unable to attend the monthly CRC meetings.

“Danny says he thinks it's probably going to be like this for the next six months,” said Carter, noting the board had not appointed an alternate representative. She reminded that the alternate would also have to be a member of the board of supervisors.

According to a memo from CRC's Mary Hickman, if the county is unrepresented for three consecutive meetings, the county would be required to reappoint in writing a member and alternate member.

Administrator's Report

In her report, County Administrator Rebecca Carter said the new school bus garage should be operating by Christmas. Explaining that initial plans for the bus garage and maintenance facility was to accommodate all county-owned vehicles, Carter said to include the county's vehicles would require an additional mechanic as well as additional equipment.

She requested authorization to study the proposal by reviewing the county's vehicle-related expenses over the last three years.

Carter said the study would look at whether it would be more economical for the county to do its vehicle maintenance work and to what degree. She said the study, which would include sheriff's department vehicles, would also help determine what type of mechanic would be required.

“I would like to work on this for the next month or so and bring back some numbers,” said Carter.

Board members concurred with Carter's recommendation and suggested she include several scenarios in her report.

The county administrator advised that the interim financing for the school renovation project was finalized. Carter said the interest rate for the loan is 1.48 percent through the Build American Bond program.

Carter also advised that the treasurer has provided a list of delinquent real estate taxes. She asked supervisors if they wanted her to advertise that the list would be published in the newspaper by a certain date to alert those who may want to pay the taxes before the list is publicized.

Supervisors instructed Carter to handle the notice as well as the publication of the list in the same manner she did last year.

On a brighter note, Carter announced that on Friday, December 3, at 7 p.m., the county would host its 20th tree lighting ceremony. The annual ceremony takes place on the lawn of Buckingham Courthouse.

Invoices Scrutinized

In almost record-breaking time on Tuesday night, the board of supervisors completed its agenda in less than 45 minutes.

However, the speed did not preclude paying attention to details, as witnessed when Vice Chairman Joe Chambers questioned several bills that he called “outrageous.”

In response, the board approved the claims with the exception of those in question until Chambers' concerns are addressed.

Following the meeting, the vice chairman said he felt it was crucial for the county to be responsible with taxpayer money.

“We have people living on $600 and $700 a month and they have to pay taxes for this,” said Chambers, with some of the invoices in hand. “There's too much waste.”