Board OKs Christendom permit change

FRONT ROYAL – Christendom College took another step forward Tuesday in its expansion efforts.

The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to grant Christendom’s request to modify its conditional-use permit by adding properties the college recently purchased.

The county issued the original permit to the college in July 1994 for a private school at 134 Christendom Drive, off of Shenandoah Shores Road. Christendom recently bought land to enable the college to build a new chapel and more parking. The college also bought other properties they asked to add to the permit.

Berbusse Lane resident and Christendom neighbor Robert Rice spoke in support of the college’s request during a public hearing on the matter. College property surrounds Rice’s home on three sides, he said.

Michael Foeckler, Christendom’s vice president for operations and planning, noted that the college bought property to the south of campus and chose to modify the permit to include all recently purchased lots.

Christendom provided its master plan for 2050 to the county Planning and Zoning Department, which includes additional uses associated with the college. Christendom needs zoning approval for each project before it can move forward.

Christendom applied for a permit modification in 1996. The college built a gymnasium in 1998. The county modified Christendom’s permit again in June 2013 to incorporate neighboring lots the college bought for soccer fields.

The college recently purchased 79 acres on which it intends to build a new chapel, Foeckler states in a June 8 letter to county Planning Director Taryn Logan. County land records show the college bought the property on Shenandoah Shores Road for $575,400 in November from Forest Anne Duncan. Christendom purchased the original 96-acre tract in 1979. In addition to the 80-acre parcel, the college sought to add lots ranging in size from 1 acre to 8.5 acres purchased in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:

• Changed the county code to remove Chester Gap Volunteer Fire Company as a fire and rescue company for Warren County and to add the agency as well as Middletown Volunteer Fire Company as automatic aid stations for the county. No one spoke during the public hearing on the change. Supervisors approved an automatic aid agreement with Chester Gap at its May 17 meeting and had previously done so with the Middletown agency.

• Approved a request by Terrence McKeegan to modify the permit for the Appaloosa Festival, scheduled for Sept. 3 and 4 at the Skyline Ranch Resort, to add 900 temporary tent campsites with conditions. Organizers can fit 227 campsites on the space available at the venue. The Health Department will consider the organizers’ request for more campsites following the board’s approval. Planning Department officials recommended that the permit include a condition requiring a 50-foot buffer between campsites and adjoining property lines, and that organizers install a temporary fence between campsite areas and adjoining properties.

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

An earlier version of this story should have identified Michael Foeckler as the vice president of planning for Christendom College.