• 63°

Wampler And Eanes Picked

BUCKINGHAM – After several months of discussion and review, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors voted at its September 10 meeting to contract with Wampler and Eanes Appraisal Services for the county's upcoming real estate reassessment.

The four-to-three vote to approve awarding the contract to Wampler and Eanes drew support from Chairman Monroe Snoddy and Supervisors Donnie Bryan, John Staton, and Cassandra Stish. Vice Chairman Danny Allen and Supervisors Bill Talbert and Joe Chambers voted in opposition.

Conversely, prior to the action awarding the contract to Wampler/Eanes, Allen led with a motion to award the contract to the low bidder, Pearson Appraisals. That motion failed with a three-to-four vote.

Before leading with his motion, Allen questioned, “Both firms can do the job, right?” County Administrator Rebecca Carter offered an affirmative response.

However, in July, a committee appointed by the board recommended awarding the contract to Wampler and Eanes with a $14.50 per parcel bid.

At that time, the committee reasoned that Wampler and Eanes performed the last reassessment; and, the county uses the Wampler and Eanes assessor for new construction assessments.

Additionally, the committee noted that assessor, who is familiar with the most recent information on the county, would be the lead assessor for the reassessment.

Moreover, the committee pointed out that the county staff is familiar with the firm's data entry personnel and has full confidence in their performance.

Pearson Appraisals submitted a bid of $13.70 per parcel. With 13,236 parcels, Pearson's bid represents a total price of $181,333.20 compared to Wampler/Eanes at $191,992, for a difference of $10,658.80.

Following the vote, Allen stated, “All I can say is that we are not in favor of saving money.”

RPUD Put On-Hold

Following a public hearing on a request to rezone approximately 120 acres of land off Route 665 from A-1 to RPUD, Residential Planned Unit Development, supervisors, with a five-to-two vote, postponed acting on the request until its October meeting.

Supervisors Talbert and Chambers cast the opposing votes. Following the action, Talbert, noting the commission held its hearing over a year ago, shared that he felt the board needed to act on it.

In his rezoning request, Ian Jackson, of I&J Homebuilders, is seeking the rezoning to construct a 44-unit clustered subdivision.

While reviewing the application, Zoning Administrator Rebecca Cobb explained that the planning commission held a hearing on the request on May 23, 2011. Since that time, Cobb and the commission have been working with the applicant to modify and make improvements to the development.

Cobb said the commission is recommending approval of the rezoning request with a list of 15 conditions.

Chairman Snoddy declared the hearing open and then closed it after no comments were offered.

At that point, Jackson went to the podium to explain his reasoning for requesting the Residential Planned Unit Development zoning.

He shared that he first proposed the development of his Tudor Place subdivision in 2005. At that time, he planned to build a 60-unit subdivision on the 180 acres. Jackson explained that his proposal included four phases of development.

According to Jackson, the PUD zoning would not only revitalize his development but also enable him to bring the construction costs down so that more people would be able to afford the homes, which he said he hoped to be priced between $100,000 and $115,000. He added that some of the units might be rentals.

The homes, according to the information in the application, will include stand-alone units as well as multi-family townhouse-type units.

When addressing supervisors, Jackson said approximately 80 acres would be dedicated to open space.

He thanked the planning commission for their efforts in working with him to formulate the plans for the PUD, which he prided, would be the first for the county.

During the ensuing discussion, Supervisor Staton moved that because the PUD is new to the board, he would like to see the vote postponed for the time being. He added that he has received calls regarding questions about the development.

When Supervisor Stish asked if the road that was called for in phase one had been developed, Jackson said the road was constructed but had not been hard-topped. He added that with approval of the PUD, he anticipates the rejuvenation of the project will assist in funding for completing the road as well as the entrance.

Subsequently, Stish seconded the motion to postpone, which also drew support from Snoddy, Allen, and Bryan.

SUP for Recreational Facility Approved

The focus of the second hearing was a request from Tim Hoag for a special use permit to operate a private recreational facility in the Straight Street building on Route 20.

As with the first hearing, no public comments were offered. Following the hearing, the board, with a motion by Talbert, unanimously approved the SUP request.

Prior to the hearing, Cobb reported that when the planning commission held its public hearing on the SUP request, no comments were offered either opposing or supporting the request.

She added that the commission was recommending approval with a list of 14 conditions. One of those conditions requires a certificate of occupancy prior to the start of any recreational use.

Hoag plans to operate a sports training facility for area youth. Information provided in the board packet stated that Starz of the Future Sports Academy would offer area youth high quality instruction to improve and fine tune their athletic skills in a clean, safe, and family friendly environment.

Hearings Set for October 9

Cobb introduced two special use permit applications that the planning commission has held hearings on and is recommending the board approve.

Subsequently, the board scheduled public hearings on the two SUP requests to coincide with its October 9 meeting.

The first case involves a telecommunications tower off Route 60 on property owned by Thomas Brown in the James River Magisterial District.

Applicant Clear Signal Towers is proposing a 195-foot monopole tower with the capability of holding six carriers.

Supervisors agreed to hold the first hearing at 7:15 p.m.

With the second request, Cobb said applicant Clifford J. Atkins, of Amherst, is seeking a special use permit to continue operating his business, Metal Movers, on approximately 2 acres of property owned by Louise and Jessie Davis on Route 60 in the Maysville Magisterial District.

According to Cobb, Metal Movers is requesting the SUP to operate a junk yard/scrap metal recycling yard in the Agricultural, A-1, District. She said the planning commission was recommending approval with a list of 17 conditions.

Cobb said the commission received one letter opposing the request and her office received a call from an adjacent property owner stating that they did not have a problem with the request.

Subsequently, the board scheduled the hearing on Atkins' special use permit for 7:30 p.m.

Moving on to several proposed updates for ordinances, Cobb began with the noise ordinance, which she said had not been updated since 1990. She added that the planning commission held a public hearing and was recommending adoption of the revised noise ordinance.

Supervisors scheduled the hearing for 7:45 p.m., at the October 9 meeting.

Continuing, Cobb reported that the commission was also recommending adoption of the revised music festival ordinance, which she said has not been updated since 1980.

In turn, the board scheduled the public hearing on those revisions to follow the hearing on the noise ordinance.

Later in the meeting, the board set a fifth public hearing for the October 9 meeting. That hearing focuses on a proposal to rescind the county's Golf Carts and Utility Vehicles Regulation Ordinance.

The request to rescind the ordinance was made last month by a Jones Town Road resident who shared that the use of golf carts and utility vehicles on the road posed a safety hazard for pedestrians and licensed vehicles.

Carter explained that the ordinance applies to a specific road, Route 703, Jones Town Road, which she explained was the only state road in the county where the operation of golf carts is authorized.

During the discussion, supervisors allowed David Jones, who said rescinding the ordinance would affect him personally, to address the board.

Jones explained that he has area teens that help him pick tomatoes and the use of the golf carts assists in motivating them to do so.

Questioning the reasons presented last month for rescinding the ordinance, Jones encouraged the board to research the matter before making its decision.