County leaders allow permit for business move

WOODSTOCK — Shenandoah County leaders on Tuesday gave a green light to a business seeking to move to a bigger home.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 to approve a special-use permit requested by Charles Streett and Streett Trucking LLC to build a new garage and office at 3868 Quicksburg Road. Streett has said his business outgrew its current space across the road and he needs to build a slightly larger operation.

The board’s action appears to put two tenets of the county’s Comprehensive Plan at odds – promote economic development and protect agriculture and open space.

Streett operates at 3761 Quicksburg Road on part of a 560-acre parcel owned by DAL Farms Inc. District Judge William Logan Jr. is listed as the owner of DAL Farms. Streett, through his other company, CHDEC LLC, purchased land at 3868 Quicksburg Road, south of his current location, in 2012.

At the board’s meeting Tuesday, Supervisors Cindy Bailey and Marsha Shruntz voted against the motion to approve the permit request. Shruntz responded to a comment made at the hearing that the vacant, pasture land eyed for the business’ relocation has not been used for crop production.

“Pasture land is just as important as crop land,” Shruntz said.

Bailey reiterated her argument that the proposal to build the trucking business on the vacant site does not conform to the county’s Comprehensive Plan, specifically the push to preserve agricultural land and open space.

“We have the tools in place to protect agricultural land by just saying no to this project,” Bailey said.

Bailey went on to say that some board members support the practice of spending tax dollars to buy development rights as a way to protect agricultural land.

Supervisor John R. “Dick” Neese argued that Streett’s proposal aligns with the county’s goal for economic development in the Comprehensive Plan.

“We’ve got a business long established, wants to own their own property instead of lease it from a second party and we want to tell them ‘no?'” Neese said. “To me, that’s going against the principles also.”

Supervisor Steve Baker said he supported Streett’s request because the business provides a service to the agricultural community by hauling poultry. Baker runs a farm in the county.

Vice Chairman Conrad Helsley called Streett’s plans to move a “common-sense decision.”

The Planning Commission held a public hearing last Thursday jointly with the Board of Supervisors. The commission heard from Matthew Griffin who owns property that abuts the future location of Streett Trucking to the south. Griffin told the commission and supervisors that he didn’t oppose Streett’s plans but he did have concerns about potential noise the business could generate. Streett will have to plant trees on his property as a noise buffer.

Last month, supervisors denied a special-use permit requested by Griffin to operate a bed-and-breakfast and cabins on his property south of Streett’s future location. Some supervisors said they had concerns about access to Griffin’s property.

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