By Alex Bridges
FRONT ROYAL - Christendom College plans to expand its soccer program by adding home games to its campus.
The Warren County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a request by the college to modify a previously approved conditional-use permit to include additional parcels not owned by the private school when the county issued the original permit in the mid-1990s
Planning Director Taryn Logan explained that the college plans to build two soccer fields on newly acquired property across Shenandoah Shores Road. Plans call for the creation of a play field and a practice field. Logan, in response to board member concerns, said the fields would be set back from the road, per county regulations.
The board heard from two residents and neighbors of the college who voiced concern with the project, specifically safety and access to the fields across Shenandoah Shores Road. One of the speakers advised supervisors that drivers often travel in excess of the 35-mph speed limit in that area.
College officials are working with the Virginia Department of Transportation and J. Duggan and Associates to outline plans for one or two crosswalks that would direct students across the street from the campus to the fields, according to a letter to Logan.
Michael S. Foeckler, vice president of Operations and Facility Planning, spoke at the public hearing on the request.
"In the last few years the college has seen a big momentum building in its athletic programs, especially in soccer and rugby, with a few more winning seasons even though we're a small school," Foeckler said.
However, the college cannot host home soccer games. A new regulation-size field would reduce the college's dependency on the complex it uses in Front Royal. Foeckler said the college feels such fields would help build the community support for its programs.
Foeckler noted that the college does not plan to hold games at night and as such would not seek to install outdoor lighting.
Department staff has recommended that the modification come with certain conditions, such as that the applicant must comply with VDOT requirements and regulations.
The applicant must plant landscaping along the right-of-way on the lots that front Shenandoah Shores Road and the planning department must approve the parking area for the soccer fields.
Also at the meeting, supervisors:
Displays to take place in Front Royal must first receive approval from the town manager or Town Council, Whitten said. The $100 fee covers the blasting permit cost, Whitten noted. The new regulations will not apply to this year's fireworks displays for the July 4 holiday. Supervisors agreed to include language to waive the fee for nonprofit groups and to delay the effective date for the fee to Jan. 1.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org