The developer of a rural events center and vineyard in Warren County can add a “honeymoon suite” to the agricultural tourism site.
Members of the Board of Supervisors voted at their Tuesday meeting to approve a conditional-use permit to allow a short-term tourist rental on Lee Burke Road. Chairwoman Vicky L. Cook, Vice Chairwoman Cheryl L. Cullers and supervisors Jerome K. “Jay” Butler and Delores R. Oates voted in favor of the motion to approve the permit application. Supervisor Walter J. “Walt” Mabe did not attend the meeting.
Shelly Cook in December 2015 bought the 5.2-acre property, which is accessed via a private easement through an adjacent 43-acre parcel she owns. Cook is building a single-family dwelling on the smaller parcel planned as a honeymoon suite in conjunction with her previously approved rural event facility.
“This property is adjacent to not only the rural events center but the vineyard that I’m doing and so it’s essentially just another lodging unit that will be used by the bride when she’s getting ready for her big day,” Cook said during a public hearing.
Cook’s property lies in the South River Farms subdivision. The permit allows no more than four occupants in the two-room cabin and prohibits guests from discharging firearms or hunting on the property, outdoor burning and fireworks, and using all-terrain vehicles on state, county and subdivision roads.
Also at the meeting, supervisors approved:
• A 5-year lease through May 30, 2028, with the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging Inc. for use of part of the Warren County Health and Human Services Complex, 465 W. 15th St., Front Royal. The agency leased a county-owned building at 1217 Commonwealth Ave., also known as the Senior Center, since 2001, Senior Assistant County Attorney Caitlin Jordan said. When the county last executed the lease, the agreement anticipated that the agency would move into a designated area in the complex once built. The School Board owns the complex, but the county leases the facility.
• A request to amend the county code to designate private roads in the Blue Ridge Shadows subdivision as highways for law enforcement purposes. State code allows the supervisors to adopt ordinances to designate private roads as highways for law-enforcement purposes in residential developments containing 50 or more lots. The Blue Ridge Shadows Homeowners Association requested the designation and Sheriff Mark Butler has agreed. Association President Scott Kersjes said at the public hearing on the request that the Virginia Department of Transportation will take over all roads in the subdivision once they are completed to state standards.
• A conditional-use permit requested by David Cressel for gunsmithing services on residential property at 275 Gary Lane in the River View section of the Shenandoah Farms subdivision. No one spoke during the public hearing. The county allows gunsmithing services in the residential-one zoning district with a permit. The county defines gunsmithing services as a commercial enterprise, activity or profession where a gunsmith performs repairs, renovations, safety inspections, appraisals and makes alterations to firearms. The county prohibits the discharging of firearms in the subdivision so all test firing will be conducted off-site.
• Approve a conditional-use permit for a short-term tourist rental at 726 Harmony Orchard Road in the Harmony Hollow Association Inc. subdivision. Michaun Pierre bought the single-family house on 10.1 acres in January. Pierre told the board at the public hearing that a home inspector determined that a retaining wall was sound.
• Approve a variance to the county subdivision ordinance to allow the transfer of a proposed, subdivided lot to an immediate family member. Erica Baker, of 64 Tara Road, applied for the variance. Baker acquired the 22-acre property when her father died Jan. 6, 2022. Their father’s will designates that each of his daughters receive a 3-plus acre parcel. They want to adjust the property lines and create a subdivision with separate parcels for each family member. Their brother owns a separate parcel, which the family plans to add to a lot through a boundary adjustment. The family members have said they are willing to have a condition with the variance that they retain ownership of the property for nine years rather than the five years as required.
• The Warren County Fair Association’s request for a conditional-use permit to allow for a motor-freight terminal. No one spoke at the public hearing. The association plans to build and use the terminal and parking lot at 274 Fairground Road as an area for overflow vehicles from the nearby Family Dollar warehouse. The association and Family Dollar have an agreement that the warehouse would use the lot for its overflow vehicles only when fair and other events are not taking place.
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