Board OKs rental permits

FRONT ROYAL – A handful of Warren County property owners have received green lights to rent their houses to tourists.

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve several requests for conditional-use permits to operate homes as short-term tourist rentals. No one spoke during the public hearings held on the requests. The board voted 5-0 for each application.

Robert and Jacqueline Fishman sought a permit to rent a single-family dwelling at 92 Hideaway Road, Linden, in the Blue Mountain subdivision, to tourists. The applicants live in Northern Virginia and bought the property as a second residence for weekend getaways, according to information provided by the Planning Department. The owners also want to rent the home to tourists to offset annual expenses. Mike Veasey, treasurer of the Blue Mountain Property Owners Association, submitted a letter stating that the organization does not object to the rental use. The Fishmans were operating the rental without a permit.

Donald Kane requested a permit to rent property at 134 Farm Ridge Road in the Shenandoah Farms subdivision. Kane bought the property in December and has stated he would like to market the home as a tourist rental to help cover associated costs. The property can be accessed only via Manor Road through Clarke County, according to information from the Planning Department.

Steven L. Muha and Robert G. Pollack, doing business as Rainbow Views LLC, requested a permit to rent property they own at 1460 High Top Road in the Shenandoah Farms subdivision. The applicants bought the property in 2014 and began renting the house on a long-term basis but now they want to rent it short term. They live next door.

Kristina Kurris and Kathryn Hixson requested a permit to rent their 20-acre property, zoned for agricultural use, at 76 Reynolds Court, Front Royal, in the Donald W. Vaughn subdivision. The county zoning ordinance allows for short-term tourist rental use by permit on the property. The sisters bought the property from their father’s estate with the intent of keeping it in the family as a retreat cabin. They chose in March 2015 to use it as a permanent residence but decided to rent it to tourists to generate additional income.

The board decided to postpone action on Kurris’ and Hixson’s request because of concerns raised by Deputy County Administrator Robert Childress about the future transportation needs, specifically easements, near the owners’ property that lies adjacent to Shenandoah Farms subdivision. Hixson argued that the easement and the permit request are separate issues. The board voted 5-0 to postpone the matter to its Sept. 6 meeting.

Also at the meeting, the board:
• Approved a request from Mark T. Smoot to rezone approximately one-half acre of land on Chapman Farm Road off U.S. 340 South (Stonewall Jackson Highway) from agricultural to commercial use. Smoot owns Gooney Creek Salvage and Auto Repair that operates on adjoining properties. Smoot sought to incorporate the half-acre property with his other lots. The board also approved Smoot’s request for a conditional-use permit to operate a commercial repair garage at 44 Chapman Road for car, passenger trucks and a wrecking service in conjunction with repossessed vehicles. The county issued a zoning violation to Smoot in 2013 for storing repossessed and inoperable vehicles, operating a wrecker and towing service without permission. Conditions with the permit approved by the board include no storage of inoperable vehicles for more than 30 days.

• Approved a request from Nadine J. Murphy for a conditional-use permit to camp on 1.08 acres she owns off Catlett Mountain Road in the Rivermont Acres subdivision. Zoning Officer Charlie Morrison issued a notice to Murphy in April when he discovered a camper parked on the lot without a conditional-use permit. Murphy said she did not know the county required a permit to camp on the lot. The property lies in the special flood hazard area.

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