McFarland Lane rental project gets approved by Prince Edward

Published 12:02 am Thursday, June 20, 2024

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 Nancy 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. 

Prince Edward supervisors signed off on her request for a special use permit, to turn the property into a short-term tourist rental. The vote was unanimous and had been needed because the property and the area around it was zoned college residential. 

“It just sort of sits there and it seems like the location calls for this opportunity to be a valuable resource,” Alexander told supervisors during their Tuesday meeting. 

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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. 

What’s allowed at McFarland Lane?

In fact, she has some very clear rules about what is and isn’t allowed. There’s no smoking and no pets allowed at the property. She’s also not allowing parties or large gatherings. Her renters must also be at least 25 years old to book. 

That last rule addresses a potential concern from Hampden-Sydney officials, who said they just didn’t want the possibility of any weekend rentals to students. However, speaking back at the planning commission meeting, school officials said Alexander’s rules eased any concerns they might have had.
There’s just one more rule the planning commission put in and the county supervisors agreed to. A landline phone needs to installed in the home, they said, just as a safety precaution. That’s in case people lose signal on the cell phone and need to reach emergency services. But with that one stipulation put out and agreed to, supervisors unanimously signed off on the idea.