Supervisors OK rental permit

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County leaders gave a green light for a tourist rental permit though the owners rebuffed officials’ request for use of their land.

The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve a request by Kristina Kurris and Kathryn Hixson for a conditional-use permit to run their property at 76 Reynolds Court as a short-term tourist rental. The sisters indicated they would rent the property to tourists on the weekends and use it as a residence during the week.

Supervisors held a public hearing on the request Aug. 16 but decided to postpone action until the Tuesday meeting. Deputy County Administrator Robert Childress submitted a request just prior to the hearing for the dedication of a 50-foot variable road, slope and drainage right-of-way and easement along the property fronting Reynolds Drive. Childress also requested 50-foot radius for a cul-de-sac right-of-way on Markham Place to allow Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District maintenance vehicles to turn while performing roadwork and snow removal in that area.

Childress, also sanitary district manager, indicated that the rights-of-way and easements would allow the county to plan for upgrades to the roads for future inclusion into the state system. County staff requested that the permit include a condition to require the dedication of the easements and rights-of-way if the applicants agreed.

However, Kurrus submitted an email to staff members on Aug. 17 stating that she and her sisters are not willing to dedicate either the right-of-way or easements Childress requested. Rather, the sisters feel it’s in their best interest to negotiation with the county and the Virginia Department of Transportation directly when the proposed project comes closer to development.

“We are not interested in pursuing the 76 Reynolds CUP in conjunction with the proposed road easement, as the forced combination of two separate Warren County intents strips my sister and I of all rights and ability to negotiation (sic) with VDOT,” Kurrus states in the Aug. 17 email. “I do not wish to put what was originally my grandparent’s land and now land I hold close to my heart, at risk in that manor (sic).”

At the hearing, Kurrus questioned why the county would include as a condition with the permit a requirement that the property owners dedicate part of their land for roadwork.

Kurrus accused county officials of strong-arming she and her sister during the permitting process. Kurrus went on to state that she’s using this experience to glean information as she considers applying for a similar permit for 2815 Blue Mountain Road.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:
• Accepted a grant for $10,000 from the Aviation Promotion and Air Service Development and Enhancement program to help cover the costs of the Virginia Air Show held Aug. 27. The county must provide the required match of $10,000.
• Accepted a grant of $723,600 from the Federal Aviation Administration to help cover the costs associated with the construction portion of the obstruction-removal project at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport.
• Approved a request for a name change from Shorty’s General Store to Mountain Springs Market on a conditional-use permit for a retail store at 2341 Rivermont Drive.
• Approved a request for a two-year extension on the conditional-use permit issued to Marlow & Silek Investments LLC for a shopping center in the U.S. 340-522 Highway Corridor Overlay District. The company asked for more time to close on the sale of the property.
• Approved a request to change the name on a conditional-use permit from Valley Redi-Mix Co. Inc. to Bardon Inc., doing business as Aggregate Industries – Mid-Atlantic
• Approved a request to name an access road off Bunker Hill Road to Landing Lane and to name the access road off Panhandle Road to Riversong Lane

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com