By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
A recreational campground could open in Shenandoah County near Toms Brook if officials give the property owner the go-ahead.
The Planning Commission scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. Thursday to hear comments regarding a request for a special permit to operate a commercial recreational business at 3648 Riverview Drive, Toms Brook. The Planning Department will conduct a site visit for interested commissioners at 10 a.m.
Property owner Jerry Channell submitted the request for the permit for a home business and proposes to include cabin rentals for overnight stay, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and other recreational activities, according to the department. The properties lie approximately 200 feet west of the intersection of Riverview Drive and Lower River Road.
The parcels zoned for agricultural use cover more than 167 acres. Present use of the parcels include residential, agricultural and short-term lease of an existing residence for overnight rental by the public, according to the county department. The parcels in question adjoins other residential and agricultural property as well as land in conservation and a national forest. The property is in the vicinity of a floodplain, according to the department.
An earlier proposal for the property included primitive camping on site but Channell removed that as a potential use.
Channell also has indicated he wants to sell food, beverages, incidentals, supplies and equipment on the premises.
The owner proposes build or make improvements to cabins, restrooms, septic systems, wells, a camp store, a dock and a boat launch. Channell cites as a first phase of expansion to build more cabins.
"My dream for Riverview Farm is to maintain Agricultural farming, with horses and cows," Channell states in a letter to the county dated June 29. "I would like to have vacation cabin rentals, and offer some primitive camping on the property. We will operate year round."
"I will maintain the Natural Beauty of the Valley, and offer Family Friendly Hospitality!" the letter states.
A letter sent by Geary W. Showman, building code official for the county, to Channell, advises structures must comply with certain codes and the owner needs to submit plans for the proposed buildings.
According to planning department documents, Riverview Drive turns into a private subdivision street maintained by the Riverview Subdivision Homeowners Association. Channell has a deeded right to use the portion of Riverview Drive and the private Colby Lane for entrance and exit to the properties included in the permit request.