Shenandoah County supervisors approved a rezoning request as part of an effort to expand a self-storage business north of Woodstock and re-upped on law enforcement agreements with Edinburg and Toms Brook during Tuesday night’s meeting.
The rezoning request, applied for by Garlan Gochenour, passed via a 6-0 vote by supervisors and moved 13.4 acres of land along Route 11 – and 1.5 miles north of Woodstock – from the A-1 Agriculture zoning district to B-2 General Business.
During a Shenandoah County Planning Commission meeting earlier this month, County Planner Tyler Hinkle noted that the request was made as part of an effort to expand the existing self-storage business on a neighboring parcel, which will still require the granting of a special-use permit by the Board of Supervisors. Self-storage facilities are only allowed by special-use permit in the B-2 zoning district, Hinkle noted.
The rezoning request, which Hinkle said complied with the county’s Comprehensive Plan, included a voluntary condition to remove all other land uses from the property, leaving the self-storage facility as the only available use.
The renewal of county law enforcement service agreements with the towns of Edinburg and Toms Brook – both set to expire June 30 – also passed by unanimous vote on Tuesday night. The new agreement for Edinburg renews police services for the period from July 1 through June 30, 2024, while the renewed agreement with Toms Brook runs from July 1 through June 30, 2022.
The supervisors also unanimously passed a memorandum of understanding between Shenandoah County Public Schools and the county’s Parks and Recreation Department, a document that clarifies the latter’s use of the school division’s facilities.
The new memorandum of understanding includes no changes regarding the Parks and Recreation Department’s usage or fee structure, though it does increase the term for review and adoption of the document from two years to three.
Supervisors also appointed Amber Smoot, Lynn St. Clair, Barbara Adamson, Bill Schumacher and Meredith Norris to the Shenandoah County Tourism Council and Tracy McMahon to the Shenandoah County Library Board of Trustees.
At the end of Tuesday’s open session, District 3 Supervisor Brad Pollack touched briefly on the new signage recently installed on school buildings on the southern campus. Stonewall Jackson High School and Ashby Lee Elementary School will officially become Mountain View High and Honey Run Elementary on July 1.
“Real sad and upset at the changing of the names of our schools this past week, so much so that I don’t want to say too much while I’m feeling this way,” Pollack said during Tuesday’s meeting. “But we’ll do a lot of talking about it over the next few months and the role that our board played in that.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Baker (District 2), on a similar note, said that “emotions are running high” on the southern end of the county “with what is transpiring at this point in time.” Baker added that he recently spoke with a coach at Stonewall Jackson who was looking to “solicit support for contributions for the kids” and offered to support them in any way that he could.
“We as a community have got to step up,” Baker said. “Unfortunately, some folks are still pretty upset and don’t want anything to do with it. That’s very, very unfortunate because you cannot say that the kids or the coaches or whatever – they have not (had) anything (to do) in this decision. They are just in the fallout.”
Baker also said he recently had a “very good meeting” with new Shenandoah County Public Schools Superintendent Melody Sheppard.
“I offered all the support that I could to her coming forward,” Baker said. “She knows it’s a very, very difficult situation (that) is going on, but she’s there to do everything. And I said, ‘I will take you out in our community so you can get the trust back.’ Just a very good conversation.”
County Administrator Evan Vass suggested at Tuesday’s meeting that the county stop providing the Go-To Meeting virtual option for attending and participating in Board of Supervisors meetings that was made available to the public during the pandemic. No supervisors objected to the suggestion.
Live streams of Board of Supervisors meetings will remain available on the county’s website, though citizens wishing to participate or speak during those meetings will need to do so in-person.
Supervisors went into closed session on Tuesday to consult with legal counsel regarding a challenge to the construction of the public safety radio system.
Supervisors Josh Stephens, Baker, Pollack, Karl Roulston, Dennis Morris and Tim Taylor attended Tuesday’s meeting.