Brainstorm session generates ideas for shopping, recreation
By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
STRASBURG -- Future shopping and recreational possibilities for the town were brainstormed Tuesday by the Strasburg Planning Commission as it discussed a community plan.
The community plan, similar to a comprehensive plan, is a long-range vision.
Scott Terndrup, the Town Council's representative on the Planning Commission, led the discussion. He brought up Half-Moon Beach, saying it had been used for recreation for many years.
"Obviously, there have been tragedies there," he said. "As [Commissioner] Hank [Dean, who is an insurance agent] can attest, tragedies lead to liability issues."
Two people -- including a 6-year-old girl -- drowned in the quarry at Half-Moon Beach three years ago. The child's family settled with Half-Moon Beach Park Inc., Skyline Paintball, Strasburg Land LLC and Dunmore Land for $1 million earlier this year.
The quarry was proffered to the town when the Dunmore subdivision was rezoned in 2005. On Tuesday, Terndrup said if the paintball area and a larger area could be included, perhaps the town could work for a higher-density residential footprint.
Councilman Don Le Vine said a community plan was needed for this area so that if Dunmore or Cedar Valley came back wanting to renegotiate proffers or the like, whether the town wanted the quarry would need to be straightened out.
"I've talked with our insurance, VML [the Virginia Municipal League]," Clerk of the Council Amy Keller said. "They're definitely not in favor."
Commissioner Carl Rinker couldn't resist throwing out a joke.
"I think we start up the Strasburg Nudist Colony," he said.
Dean compared the quarry to Lake Frederick, which is surrounded by homes.
"It's depth in several places is probably just as deep as some of these areas that we have in the quarry," he said. "Obviously, they've been able to deal with that from a position of there's no swimming."
The lake's use is regulated and motorized boats are permitted for fishing, Dean said.
"That's a situation that's a possibility," he said.
Fishing and paintball -- combined with the nearby visitor's center -- could draw weekend visitors, Terndrup said.
The group also talked about possible areas for a grocery store or department store. Terndrup said he thought the area around the Interstate 81 interchange with Va. 55 would be a good spot since it would balance shopping areas on both ends of town. The Cedar Valley site on U.S. 11 north of town would also be an option, he said.
Commissioner Robert Flanagan suggested converting Washington Street into a pedestrian shopping mall with restaurants.
"It's the most opportune street of the three downtown," he said.