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Permit will let businesses fill vacant buildings

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Steven Burke

Owner can lease to tenants including shops, retail services

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Town Council approved the first reading of a special use permit Monday night that will allow businesses to begin filling two vacant buildings in town.
The properties, located at 602 and 604 Radham St., are owned by AVG Holdings LLC.

The original special use permit was approved in 2009, but limited the building usage to professional offices. Now, the owner will be able to lease to tenants other than professional offices, including barber and beauty shops, banks, branch banks and financial institutions, and retail and personal services.

Drive-through services are prohibited, according to the newly approved special use permit. Another lot next to the properties will be used for parking.

Council members expressed their excitement over the current state of the once run-down, vacant buildings.

Councilman Thomas Conkey explained that after being on the town's planning commission, he remembered the project and is glad to finally see the buildings put to use.
"However, this afternoon I drove by and found that people are already moving into the buildings," Conkey said.

Adie von Gontard, principal of AVG Holdings, addressed the issue and said that to the best of his knowledge "there are no tenants at this time making any arrangements to move into those buildings."

Town Manager Steve Burke explained that as long as there was no activity inside the building and nothing was "open for business" then there was no violation.

Tree Steward David Means spoke during the public hearing section and welcomed AVG Holdings.

"We're very impressed with the upgrades, they're beautiful structures now," Means said of the buildings. He added that the tree stewards hope to partner with AVG for any landscaping projects.

The council voted "yes" to the special use permit across the board.

"These are the kinds of small businesses that bring jobs to the community," said Councilman Thomas Sayre.

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