Supervisors move on boat landing

FRONT ROYAL – Boating access on the Shenandoah River continues to improve in Warren County.

The Board of Supervisors took action Tuesday on several items related to a project to build a boat landing and pocket park on Farms Riverview Road off Myers Drive in the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District.

The facility on the Shenandoah River would accommodate medium-powered boats. The proposed design includes 10 parking spaces for boat trailers and additional, parallel spots; 23 car spaces; a wooden courtesy dock; a 5-foot-wide gangway; a 24-foot-wide concrete boat ramp; landscape buffer; signs and picnic tables. Future amenities include portable or permanent restrooms and a shelter.

The board voted to award a contract for $14,806 to Land Planning and Design Associates to design and administer the construction of the project. Supervisors also voted to accept a deed of dedication of a right-of-way from the Property Owner’s Association of Shenandoah Farms needed to build a cul-de-sac for the approved Virginia Department of Transportation Recreational Access Project on Farms Riverview Road.

County officials hope to begin construction this summer, Grants and Special Projects Coordinator Brandy Rosser said Tuesday afternoon.

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries awarded a $50,000 grant to the county toward the landing project. The county must provide a match of $16,667. The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation will build the project.

The county recently completed work on a new landing in the Thunderbird Farms subdivision designed for hand-launched boats. The landing in Shenandoah Farms is in deeper water that allows for larger, motorized craft.

Also at the meeting, the board voted to approve a license agreement to allow the county to use approximately 0.7 of an acre of land owned by the association for the project. The agreement allows the county to use the association’s land for free for 50 years, with an option to renew for another 50 years.

“The second lot really allows us to expand the site and make it that much nicer for everybody,” Rosser said. “We don’t want to put too much out there just because it is a very remote site. It’s hard to put stuff out there like grills and garbage cans because of the bears and wildlife. It’s just to allow us to expand the boat landing we have now with some extra amenities.”

Once the county comes up with a preliminary design and construction plan it will submit an application for a permit through the Virginia Marine Resource Commission, Rosser said. The county will need clearance from the state agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before moving forward on the project. The building inspector also will review the plans.

When the county officials began to discuss the project some residents in Shenandoah Farms, particularly those living near the landing, voiced concern that the facility would attract boaters from outside the neighborhood and lead to increased traffic through the subdivision’s roads.

County officials met with the Shenandoah Farms association board in November to address the residents’ concerns, Rosser recalled.

“It seems like we have a pretty good feeling with everybody in Shenandoah Farms that we are willing to work with them to address any issues that they think may come up and we’ve done as much as we can so far … “ Rosser said.

The county is seeking a recreational access grant from VDOT to cover the cost to improve Myers Drive and Farms Riverview Road and bring them up to state standards, Rosser said. The $262,000 grant requires a $12,000 local match.

County officials spoke with another adjacent property owner in the past month, showed him the proposed design and plan to meet him on site to address his concerns, Rosser said.

“We’re working with them as much as we can and we understand their concerns and we definitely want to make sure that we’ve mitigated anything that we can,” Rosser said.

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