After withdrawing his rezoning and special-exception applications last week on a property at 12625 Lee Hwy. owned by his Culpeper-based Commercial Yates LLC, Greg Yates has not revealed any alternative plan for the building that now houses Mountainside Physical Therapy and Ginger Hill Antiques.
Spokespersons for both businesses meanwhile said last week it was never Yates’ plan for the existing tenants to leave the building. “Also,” one of them pointed out, “he was at the planning commission meeting, although he did not speak.” (The News incorrectly reported that Yates did not attend the public hearing.)
In a brief meeting, Washington attorney Taylor Odom, who represented Yates in the application before the county planning commission last month, declined to comment on why Yates withdrew his applications or his plans for the property and deferred further questions to Yates. Yates did not respond to an email request for information.
Several of the artists who maintain studios in the River District Arts building in Sperryville revealed at a public meeting with the Rappahannock News staff on May 26 they had been talking to Yates about relocating at least some part of the studio and gallery operation to Yates’ Lee Highway building. However, artists familiar with the negotiations to sell RDA have said it is unlikely they will move to Yates’s building. RDA closed to the public June 1 and the artists have been given until July 1 to be out of the building. (Another offer for the RDA building is pending.)
Yates’s applications aimed to remove proffers on the property housing Mountainside and Ginger Hill, essentially a rezoning request that would allow storage areas inside the building, and to seek a special-exception permit to allow up to 250 self-storage units in the vacant hillside behind the building.
At a the planning commission’s public hearing May 25, several residents of Clark Lane, which is adjacent to the property, and others spoke in opposition to the applications; the commission voted to recommend the proffers request be denied by the board of supervisors, but chose not to hear the special exception permit case.
Alvin Henry, Hampton district representative on the planning commission, said by phone this week: “I think that Mr. Yates probably learned a lot from the planning commission meeting and I think he’ll probably go back and study what is a permitted use under the proffers and will find a use suitable for the site and the surrounding neighbors that hopefully works for everyone.”