The Warren County Planning Commission recently endorsed a short-term tourist rental despite neighbors’ opposition.
Commission members voted 4-0 at their meeting last week in favor of a motion to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve a conditional-use permit application by Nicole and Sean McMinn for a short-term tourist rental.
Vice Chairman Hugh Henry and commissioners Scott Kersjes, Joseph Longo and Kaylee Richardson voted on the motion. Chairman Robert Myers did not attend the meeting. The Board of Supervisors could consider action on the request after holding its own public hearing on the application at a future meeting.
The McMinns applied for the permit to rent property that they own at 277 Sagar Drive to tourists. The 2.42-acre property, zoned for residential use, lies adjacent to Mohawk Road in the Fork Magisterial District.
The applicants plan to use the single-family dwelling part time and rent it to help offset the costs of the second home, Deputy Planning Director Matt Wendling explained at the meeting. The owners plan to have a local contractor manage the property. Online real estate records show that the McMinns live in Washington, D.C.
All seven people who spoke at the public hearing held on the permit application said they opposed the request.
Nine houses are accessible by Sagar Drive, Pala Drive and Stiles Drive, Wendling told the commissioners.
Tammy and Steve Sagar live on a 16.2-acre property at the end of Sagar Drive to the east of the McMinn’s land, according to county records. The Sagars, who spoke at the public hearing, expressed concerns about trespassers who used their property to access the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Other residents and owners of riverfront properties to the south of the McMinns’, also voiced concerns about privacy, safety and trespassers in the private neighborhood.
Longo said before the vote that there are property rights to consider as well as trespassers, the latter of which have nothing to do with the owners. Longo also noted that the Board of Supervisors can revoke the permit if the regulations are not complied with.
Also at the meeting, the commission voted in favor of motions to endorse:
• A request by Charles and Lou Ann Dotson for a conditional-use permit for private-use camping on vacant land on Burma Road. The two lots, zoned for residential use, lie in the Man-Da-Lay community in the North River Magisterial District. No one spoke during the public hearing held on the permit request. Wendling has stated that the land lies in the Special Flood Hazard Area. The applicants purchased the lots 17 years ago and have used the property for family picnics and river recreational activities during that time. Now the applicants want to use an RV camper on the property throughout the year. They would use a portable toilet while on the property. The permit also would allow the owners to build an accessory storage structure of up to 160 square feet.
• A request by Jacob Lott and Sandra Kiepfer for a conditional-use permit to operate a short-term tourist rental on property at 50 Little Indian Road. The property, zoned for residential use, lies in the Shenandoah Magisterial District. The permit would limit the number of occupants to four. No one spoke at the public hearing held on permit request. The owners live across the street from the property, which they want to use to generate income, Wendling has said. The Kiepfers have said they have had 10 years of experience in managing tourist rentals operating as Hot Tub Heaven in Warren County.