FRONT ROYAL – After a series of work sessions and public hearings spanning six months, Town Council at its regular Monday meeting approved a special use permit allowing the United Parcel Service to use a parking lot at its 470 S. Commerce Ave. facility.
The lot, which is near a residential neighborhood, was the subject of complaints including noise during late night and early morning hours as trucks unloaded supplies, unsightly conditions and fumes generated from the trucks.
Although UPS has used the lot since about 1987, the company was notified in August that dong so without a special use permit violated town code.
After the Planning Commission recommended that UPS’ request be denied, the company recently offered to not allow tractor trailers or trucks in the lot.
Beth Sitton, who lives near the lot, said during a Monday public hearing that since trucks have been removed from the lot, residents “are so thankful” they can sleep through the night. She thanked UPS for making concessions and thanked town officials for assisting in the matter.
David Downes, a lawyer and founder of the Virginia Beer Museum, encouraged the town to approve the special use permit. In January, the council by a 4-2 vote denied Downes’ request that the museum be granted an exemption from town code so several parking spots could be eliminated to expand the establishment’s beer garden.
Downes said that although he has no stake in the situation at UPS, he can appreciate what it is like for businesses to try and comply with town regulations. He added that Front Royal is a “fluid community” and leaders who wrote code 30 years ago could not predict what today’s needs would be.
He said that UPS has been a positive force that has provided well-paying jobs to residents for many years, and what is good for the company is good for the community.
“Please don’t have UPS end up in federal court over something that really should be a no-brainer,” Downes said.