In an occasionally emotional special session at town hall Wednesday night, the Washington Town Council approved a contested property division by the Inn at Little Washington that would enable artist Kevin Adams to open a studio and gallery at the former Stonyman/Sunnyside mercantile store.
Ben “Cooter” Jones and Alma Viator, meanwhile, withdrew the application they’d made to the Rappahannock County Planning Commission (which also met Wednesday night, just up Gay Street at the courthouse) for a special-exception permit.
Near the end of a lengthy stretch of questions and comments about parking, traffic and noise concerns by both the public and commissioners, Jones said he would withdraw the application for a permit that would have allowed outdoor music performances on weekend afternoons at Cooter’s in the Country — the shop, cafe and “Dukes of Hazzard”-themed museum that he and Viator plan to open in the former Old Hollow Store on U.S. 211 at Old Hollow Road in Sperryville.
The Town Council’s 90-minute session — marked by applause-inducing comments made mostly by town residents who supported the Inn’s intention to sell a reduced-size property to Adams and his partner Jay Brown — ended with a closed-door session at which the council discussed pending lawsuits against the town. Attorney David Konick’s circuit court petition, due for a hearing April 28, alleges the town and the Inn violated procurement, conflict-of-interest and other laws in financial and property-related actions they took in 2013 to beautify the area around Main and Middle streets.
After its closed session, the council authorized advertisement of public hearings next month on actions it may take to undo, and possibly redo, the contested 2013 actions.
More about both stories in next Thursday’s Rappahannock News.