New zoning administrator hails from Page County

Michelle Somers’ door is open in more ways than one

New county zoning administrator Michelle Somers at her desk this week. By John McCas

Rappahannock County’s new zoning and planning administrator, Michelle Somers, has already settled nicely into her Gay Street office, quickly filling a void created when David Dameron resigned after less than four months in the newly created post.

Somers, 34, was born and raised in Page County and lives today with her husband and daughter on the family’s generational farm near Lake Arrowhead.

More important to Rappahannock’s board of supervisors, Somers for the past 14 years was zoning administrator for Page County.

“Farming and agriculture preservation are major assets to both communities,” she tells the Rappahannock News of zoning similarities between Rappahannock and Page counties. “The thing I like about it here [in Rappahannock] is they know who they are, while Page County is still struggling for its identity.”

That said, both counties “absolutely” want to preserve the open spaces that make each place unique and special, she added.

Interim county administrator Brenda Garton said Rappahannock is “lucky to find an individual who has so many years of experience in zoning” and comprehensive planning. Somers will be paid an annual salary of $55,000.

Somers also reveals that she is a “two-years-out breast cancer survivor. I’m very proud of that.”

And she makes a point of saying that her office door is always open to anybody in the Rappahannock community who might need somebody to talk to about cancer.

As for commuting every day across the mountains, Somers points out: “It’s a beautiful drive — although I haven’t done it in the winter yet!”

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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at