Sand pits on supervisors’ agenda

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 26, 2007

COURTLAND—Conditional use permit requests for two different sand pits and an old rezoning request for a property on Oberry Church Road highlight the Board of Supervisors’ zoning agenda Monday.

A controversial sand pit proposed for the Sebrell area, having received a recommendation by the county’s Planning Commission, will be up for review during a public hearing at the 6 p.m. meeting in the county office building.

The operation would be located on 8.14 acres of an 843-ace tract on the west side of River Road, about 1.5 miles south of its intersection with Route 35. Neighbors and other members of the Sebrell community spoke out against it in two different Planning Commission meetings.

The other sand pit that supervisors will consider was much less controversial, receiving a Planning Commission recommendation in October with no public opposition.

It would be situated on about eight acres of a 134-acre parcel on the south side of Country Club Road, about a half-mile east of its intersection with Flaggy Run Road.

The Sebrell sand pit has caused concerns from area residents because of the potential dangers associated with the 500 or so dump trucks per year that are expected to travel the narrow road that passes through the Sebrell area on the way to the farm that would host the operation.

In an effort to placate the opponents, the owner of the property changed his application between the September and October meetings to encompass a smaller portion of the property. Originally, he had sought to use 46 of the farm’s acres for the sand pit; his amended application called for only 8.14 acres.

The commission voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the application with the following conditions: that hours of operation be limited to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and that the pit comply with Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy regulations.

Conditions proposed for the Country Club Road sand pit were that its operation be confined to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with an occasion Saturday, and that the length of the permit would not exceed five years.

Supervisors will also consider a rezoning request for a small Oberry Church Road subdivision that dates originally to June and that the Planning Commission has twice recommended be denied.

The owner seeks to develop 13 residential building lots on a property of about 20.54 acres. The agriculturally zoned property is adjacent to other parcels with homes, but it would require a residential rezoning to support the proposed use.

Commissioners balked at recommending approval of the necessary conditional use permit because of the number of driveways that would connect with the road.

After expressing their own concerns about so-called &uot;piano-key development,&uot; members of the Board of Supervisors sent the request back to the Planning Commission &uot;to be renegotiated&uot; with the developer.

Planners briefly considered the application in October and voted once again to recommend that supervisors deny it.