Warren County needs to take a few more steps before it can sell property at the historic McKay Springs site.
The Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on Tuesday on an offer from Boddie-Noell Enterprises Inc. to buy approximately 1.42 acres of county-owned property at the corner of U.S. 340-522 and Reliance Road. Boddie-Noell, a developer of Hardee’s locations, plans to build a restaurant at the site, according to documents provided to the county.
No one spoke during the public hearing held on the potential property sale.
As Interim County Administrator Edwin Daley and County Attorney Jason Ham explained, supervisors need to take additional steps before they can authorize the sale. The supervisors held the hearing because it was advertised but they did not take action on the proposal. Ham said the board would need to hold a public hearing on the same topic again because the town needs to convey its portion of the property in question to the county.
EDA Executive Director Douglas Parsons provided information to the supervisors prior to the hearing. The EDA has been working with a broker to sell the site for about three years, he said. Boddie-Noell offered $475,000 for the property, recently appraised at $310,000.
“It appears to be a very good deal to get (an) anchor tenant on the land, get a road in from Reliance Road into the site that could conceivably serve the rest of the site,” Parsons said.
The land is part of the historic McKay Springs property owned by the county, the town of Front Royal and the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority. The part that the EDA owns would be conveyed to Warren County and Front Royal jointly so it can be combined with the property already owned by the localities. The entire property must then be subdivided into lots, including the land that is the subject of the sale. The town would own one lot of approximately 2.77 acres that includes the McKay Spring.
The land runs horizontally along Reliance Road and the property in the sale does not include the spring or the remains of the house, Parsons said. A gas station and grocery store used to sit on the land in question, other county officials noted.
In response to a question from Fox, Parsons said the proposed agreement with Boddie-Noell includes a stipulation that no competitor for the restaurant can build on county-owned property within 1,000 feet of the site. The stipulation cannot apply to privately owned land, Parsons said.
The county and the town must enter an agreement to divide the proceeds from the sale of the property and the other lots. The county has presented the agreement to town officials for review.
The county also must hold public hearings and take other actions, such as adjust lot lines and vacate rights of way, to complete the sale.
The county rezoned the property for commercial use in 2011.
The site lies in the South River Magisterial District. The district supervisor, Delores R. Oates, asked Parsons how the proposed restaurant would affect the traffic on Reliance Road and the highway. Deputy County Administrator Taryn Logan said any transportation improvements likely would come up during the site-plan development process.
Supervisors took no action on the matter.
Chairwoman Cheryl L. Cullers, Vice Chairman Archie A. Fox and supervisors Tony F. Carter, Walter J. Mabe and Oates attended the meeting.
Also at the meeting, supervisors voted to:
• Reappoint Jim Wolfe as a member of the EDA Board of Directors.
• Adopt an ordinance to allow the Shannon Woods Sanitary District to apply a construction road-use fee of $2,500.
• Approve a deed of easement to Front Royal to allow the town to install a new water main to the U.S. 340-522 Corridor. The town is in the process of installing additional lines to the corridor to provide water and improve sustainability in the event that the existing line fails. The town needs the easement because the line runs through two county-owned properties.
• Approve the fiscal 2020-2021 Locality Agreement between the county and the Virginia Department of Health for funding and services of the Warren County Health Department.
• Adopt an ordinance to vacate a 28-foot-wide, unimproved public right of way, and a 14-foot-wide, unimproved right of way in the Elias Herr lots in Limeton.