Planners approve tourist home

The Rappahannock County Planning Commission voted unanimously last Wednesday night (Aug. 15) to recommend approval for a special-use permit enabling Kimberly Grimes and Susan Hager to use the Hager Home as a rental vacation home property.

Grimes, who owns the property, and Hager, the proposed caretaker, are seeking to turn the Hull School Road property into a rental vacation home for up to four people. Several neighbors voiced complaints about liability for potential damages and the potential for increased traffic on the narrow road.

“The road is barely serviceable for the people who live there now,” said Susan Kirby, one of Hager’s neighbors. Other neighbors said they were worried about who would be held responsible for damages committed to their properties, which are all within walking distance of the proposed tourist home.

Although several board members were sympathetic to the neighbors’ claims, Stonewall-Hawthorne commissioner Gary D. Light pointed out that the only question before the commission was whether or not the proposed rental agreement was legal within the county’s zoning laws.

“We’ve approved all kinds of buildings like this over the years,” said Alex Sharp, the board of zoning appeals’ representative to the commission. “And there’s never been a problem.”

Ultimately the commission ruled that renting out the home was within Hager’s rights and voted to approve the request. The matter was to go before the BZA on Wednesday (Aug. 22) for final approval.