Board OKs permit for UPS storage

Warren County fast-tracked a permit request this week to help a parcel carrier find space to store several dozen trailers.

The Board of Supervisors held a special public hearing on Tuesday, jointly with the Planning Commission, for a conditional-use permit to run a motor-freight terminal in the Kelley Industrial Park. Rather than wait until the board’s next night meeting on Jan. 20, supervisors agreed to hold the joint hearing this week to avoid delays in the permit-approval process.

Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the permit.

Jeffrey L. LeHew requested the permit to operate a terminal on property he owns on Kelley Court. United Parcel Service approached LeHew about his property as it searched for a site to store 30-35 trailers, according to county information. LeHew needs a permit in order to allow UPS to store trailers on the site. The 9.4-acre property includes a 30,000-square-foot building used currently by Zachry Construction for its work on the Dominion power plant.

The property includes a vacant area east of LeHew’s building that abuts KIP’s warehouse, property owned by the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and the future Cedarville Shopping Center. LeHew’s property is zoned for industrial use. The Department of Planning and Zoning information indicates the site is in the U.S. 340-522 Corridor and is served by public utilities.

No one spoke at the public hearing. The commission forwarded the request to supervisors with a recommendation that the county delay for five years a requirement that LeHew put down blacktop for the storage area.

The Planning and Zoning Department offered to delay the requirement for two years. LeHew said the delay would keep his costs and the lease amount down and, thus, not drive UPS away from the deal.

“That being said, it is my intention, once we get UPS there with their trailers, to find a way to convince them someday to move their whole operation there, which I think a lot of people in town would like to see happen,” LeHew said. “They’re pretty squished where they are and … if they do decide ever that they do need to move, I would prefer them to stay in the county and not move somewhere else, and I think we’ve got the perfect spot for them out there.”

Commissioner Hugh B. Henry said UPS has outgrown its current space and he doesn’t think they would last another five years. Henry suggested the county require gravel, not asphalt, for the trailer storage area at least for the first part of the lease. Other commissioners concurred.

Supervisor Richard Traczyk asked if the county could restrict the number of trailers. Planning Director Taryn Logan said that matter had not been raised but the board could limit the number of trailers as a condition with the permit. UPS initially wanted to use the property as overflow space for trailers used during the holiday shipping season, LeHew said. The owner said his offer to UPS was to allow space for upward of 70 trailers. LeHew said he would prefer not to limit the number.

Supervisor Tony Carter pointed out that LeHew’s site could serve as a new home for UPS.

“I think it’s important that we do what we can to keep them because … they’re a good employer,” Carter said. “I think it’s an ideal location for them, right there at [Interstate] 66.”

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com