Alexander proposes short-term tourist rental

Published 5:39 pm Friday, May 24, 2024

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If you head down McFarland Lane, near the Hampden-Sydney College campus, you’ll come across a house off by itself. Former Downtown Farmville Partnership Director Nancy Alexander hopes to turn that property into a short-term tourist rental. 

Alexander came to the Prince Edward County Planning Commission with her request during their Tuesday, May 21 meeting. In the 1970s, a one-bedroom apartment was added to the traditional one-story ranch house at 161 McFarland Lane. The apartment has a drive-in basement below and can be reached either through the main house or an outside entrance. It’s been used as a rental since it was constructed and now Alexander hopes to bring tourists into the mix, those attending an event at Hampden-Sydney or going to a performance in Farmville. Or maybe someone just wants to stay in the area for a couple of days. 

Bought in September 2022, Alexander said she had to do renovations, as it hadn’t been left in the best condition. She didn’t want any long-term renters, as it can be hard to get someone out if things go wrong. Alexander also noted that she didn’t want to rent it out to Hampden-Sydney students either. 

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“I am not interested in college kids and craziness happening on my property,” she said. “I’m interested in like traveling nurses, professors, etc. The criteria I’ve put on it should limit the noise (and issues). I want to make sure we’re not having craziness happen over there.” 

Some strict regulations 

As Ken Copeland, Vice President for Business Affairs at Hampden-Sydney, pointed out to the planning commission, there’s stronger restrictions on that house than what the county or school even requires. 

“We really didn’t want weekend rentals to students,” Copeland said. “The plan she submitted eases any concerns we may have.” 

That includes a specific rule that no one under the age of 25 can rent the property. Also, at most it can have dual occupancy. That means no more than two people at a time.” 

The only request the planning commission had was that Alexander put a landline phone in at the home, just as a safety precaution. That’s in case people lose signal on their cell phones and need to reach emergency help. 

Aside from that, planning commission members had no problems with the house sitting behind the campus library on McFarlane Lane. The group unanimously recommended to move forward with the permit, which now heads to the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors for discussion. The next meeting for supervisors is June 11.