FRONT ROYAL — A group of property owners hopes to expand the marketability of their land off John Marshall Highway by adding to the list of its permissible uses.
BMW Real Estate LLC. — which consists of Joseph Biggs, J. Franklin Brugh, Joseph McGreevy and Peter Walker — would like to remove a series of prohibited uses on the about 1.6 acres neighboring the United Parcels Services distribution center off John Marshall Highway.
Before BMW LLC.’s 1999 purchase of the land, it was rezoned from residential to commercial with a series of voluntary prohibited uses established by the previous property owner.
Prohibited uses include: apartments; appliance stores and repair services; assembly halls; car lots; service stations and garages; barber or beauty shops; poolrooms; churches; communication towers; parking facilities; department stores; restaurants open between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.; restaurants with drive-throughs; restaurants over 2,000-square-feet; funeral homes; and more.
Planning Director Jeremy Camp noted during the Town Council’s Monday work session that the prohibited uses prevent BMW from marketing the property, adding that the land is “far more restricted” than other similarly zoned properties. He proposed that the town remove prohibitions on appliance stores, barber shops, hardware stores, restaurants over 2,000-square-feet and more.
Camp also suggested that the town impose new restricted uses including commercial parking lots, distribution facilities, wholesale establishments, and machinery sales and services.
Councilman Eugene Tewalt expressed concern about a potential business operating too late and disturbing citizens living in the nearby area that is zoned residential.
Referencing resident noise complaints regarding the nearby UPS facility, Tewalt said he does not want another business presenting similar issues.
Councilman Jacob Meza asked, “why would you restrict a business and what hours they could open?”
While no other commercially zoned properties have time restrictions, Teawalt responded that this different because it is adjacent to a residentially zoned area.
Mayor Hollis Tharpe suggested that the applicants meet with Camp to address potential noise concerns. He added that BMW’s members have a long history of integrity and they “will not let anything come in that will ruin their reputation,” but the concern is what a future developer would bring to the property.