Firm gets OK to operate at site

By Alex Bridges

FRONT ROYAL — A Sterling firm has received the green light to repair heavy construction equipment at the former North American Housing site in Warren County.

The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve a conditional-use permit for a heavy drilling equipment repair business and contractor’s storage yard requested by Dulles Industries at the property located at 5210 Strasburg Road.

Vice Chairwoman Linda Glavis voiced her support for the request.

“I think this is a very good use for a property that’s been vacant for a while,” Glavis said.

The facility would be used for the maintenance, repair and temporary storage of heavy construction, drilling equipment and tooling that is owned and operated by the Schnabel Foundation Company.

No one spoke at the public hearing held on the matter. Bruce Kennon, Dulles equipment manager, responded to questions from the board, specifically regarding the containment of waste fluids on the site. Kennon also answered questions board members had concerning noise the facility likely would generate. The permit would address the noise issue.

Conditions recommended by staff and the Planning Commission include a requirement that the applicant install screening on an existing fence along the rear of the property and a landscape screen of two Leyland cypress trees along the rear. The noise level can’t exceed 77 decibels as required under the county ordinance, and the building must be soundproofed in the equipment repair areas, among other conditions.

Also at the meeting, the board took action that paves the way for improvements to a county boat landing. Supervisors approved a proposed ordinance to vacate a 0.485-portion of an easement for public recreation and boating access at 43 Stoney Bottom Road in the Fork Magisterial District known as Simpsons Landing.

No one spoke on the matter at the public hearing. Some residents who live near the boat landing had raised concerns about the project several months ago as supervisors and staff discussed the landing improvements.

The county holds an easement for public recreation and boating access on the left bank of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. The county received a grant for $10,000 from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to improve the boating access point. However, the project does not require 0.485 acres of the easement, according to county information.

John and Carol Sims, owners of the underlying property, voiced interest in vacating the portion of the easement not needed for the project. The county must follow procedures outlined in the state code to vacate the portion. State code allows the county to charge compensation for a vacation no greater than the property’s fair-market value or contributory value to the abutting property. The Sims agreed to pay the county $1,000 for the vacation.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:

  • Approved a subdivision variance for Michael and Paige Pinson that consolidates four lots into one to allow the construction of one house. No one spoke at the public hearing held on the request.
  • Approved a conditional-use permit requested by Front Royal Christian School for a private school on property at Fishnet Ministries, 391 Fishnet Blvd. Larry Andes, Fishnet Ministries president, appeared before the board and answered questions about the proposal. Conditions include a requirement that the applicant installs a hard-surface parking lot and landscaping within nine months of completion of improvements to Fishnet Boulevard. Modular buildings on site must have an earth-tone color and appear cohesive with existing buildings on the property. The school plans to use part of the existing building on the land and modular units. The school would have up to four modular classrooms on the south side of the existing building. The school would put up two of the modular classrooms for the 2013-2014 year.
  • Authorized the county administrator to advertise a public hearing for the lease of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office on Jackson Street to the Front Royal Police Department for two years at $4,000 per month.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or