If you have driven on Ben Venue Road recently, you may have encountered a tractor trailer or large logging truck coming to or from Williams Tree Service operating on that narrow, winding road. In the ten years since they received their permit to operate commercially in this agricultural zone, the piles of wood and mulch at Williams Tree Service have grown, as well as the dangerous truck traffic on Ben Venue Road.
On Monday, August 6th, the Rappahannock Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing to review William Tree Service’s Special Exception Permit for this location. It is possible that this will be the final review before the permit is made permanent.
But several people are questioning how this permit ever came to be. The Williams Tree Service permit for a “Contractor’s Office, Shop, and Materials Storage Yard” in no way fits the zoning code’s definition (170-8) for this designation.
In addition, a 2010 permit was granted for Williams Tree Service to move the “vast majority of their operation” to the former E-Cow building on Route 211, but residents of Ben Venue have waited and never seen that reality.
These and many other concerns were largely ignored by the Planning Commission on July 18th, which only suggested a “No Thru Trucks” sign, which clearly would not restrict Williams Tree Service traffic.
This issue affects everyone in the county who drives Ben Venue Road or lives on a secondary road in an agricultural zone. It sets a dangerous precedent for other county roads and increases the likelihood of serious accidents on this one. Please write your Board of Supervisors and attend Monday’s public hearing.
Bill Freitag, Ann Maclean, Susie MacNelly, Bob Mann, Jennifer Scherschel