Land Use/Zoning

BZA narrowly approves retroactive permit for farm building made residence “To turn a blind eye… encourages more of the same”

The issue of what constitutes a family apartment on the same property as a primary residence is a thorny topic that the county’s boards frequently wrestle with. At its April 24 meeting, the Board of Zoning Appeals heard from an applicant that not only wanted to convert her current residence into a family apartment, but also wanted a retroactive permit change on another structure on her property. […]

Land Use/Zoning

Whither Washington in 15 years? On the eve of another public forum, the mayor has a couple takeaways so far

Fred Catlin has been doing a lot of listening. And the newish mayor of the Town of Washington isn’t done hearing from his constituents and others in the county about how the “First Washington of Them All” should evolve in the years to come. The second of two public forums will be this Sunday, March 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Washington Town Hall. Twenty-three people attended the first session on a Saturday afternoon two weeks ago. […]

Land Use/Zoning

Major setback for 2019 revision of county’s comprehensive plan

‘Much has changed in Rappahannock County in 38 years, but it is not reflected in the Draft Plan’: The Rappahannock County Board of Zoning Appeals has given an overwhelming thumbs down to the county’s proposed 2019 Comprehensive Plan, which when it comes to its state-mandated revision is already years behind schedule. […]

Land Use/Zoning

Valentine’s Day delivery from the Rappahannock County government

“I seem to be getting one thing in writing and then I get something else. One thing in person and then I get something else. It seems like it’s a moving target.”

So reacted Amissville business owner John Cappiali after being served with four misdemeanour summonses based on complaints filed by Rappahannock Zoning Administrator Michelle Somers surrounding his two contracting companies. […]

Land Use/Zoning

USPS reverses course, considers leaving post office in county seat

Jeffrey Becker, USPS Northern Virginia District Manager, told Town Clerk Laura Dodd by telephone late Tuesday that two potential building locations were once again under consideration and a final decision would be formally announced within the next several weeks. It’s assumed Becker was referring to the vacant lot on Leggett Lane being pushed by town officials and the lot on Bank Road south of Washington near Union Bank & Trust. […]

Land Use/Zoning

Petition drive underway to challenge post office move

What better place than out in front of the Washington Post Office to launch a petition drive to register “opposition to moving the post office out of the town’s limits, the flawed decision-making process, or concerns about the proposed location,” Mayor Fred Catlin has announced. […]

Land Use/Zoning

BZA hears Ben Venue residents’ complaints over Williams Tree Service expansion

At the end of the three-hour hearing, the majority of the BZA members expressed sympathy with the road’s neighbors. Many said they felt the residents had made a case for reviewing, amending, or perhaps revoking the tree service permit. But in light of the BZA’s limited authority and the restricted scope of Somers’ ruling, they voted unanimously that there was not sufficient evidence to overturn the permit. […]

Land Use/Zoning

It’s official: After 215 years in county seat, Washington Post Office moving to highway

Now it’s official that a new post office will be built off Highway 211 on what is “Lot 5 of the Rappahannock Commons Professional Center,” two miles from Washington and four miles from Sperryville. The property is owned by longtime Harris Hollow resident Jimmy DeBergh, a sixth-generation Rappahannock resident. […]

Land Use/Zoning

Planners reluctant to rule on lot sizes for short term rentals

Chair Gary Light acknowledged that he personally feels that “the acreage requirement is unnecessary. . . . The main issue is that they are a rough surrogate for a buffer and a protection. If you listen closely to the opposition to tourist homes, it’s not about the use, it’s about not knowing who is sleeping in the house next door.” […]

Land Use/Zoning

Part-time county employee files lawsuit against county for allowing alleged junkyard

In addition to the violations, the complaint reads, “the unlawful collection of junk, refuse, construction materials, and inoperable equipment and vehicles and other garbage at or on the Subject Property is visible from the Petitioner’s [Atkins] property, constitutes a common law nuisance, and denigrates and depreciates the value of Petitioner’s property.” […]

Land Use/Zoning

The bike trail: Dead or alive?

The vote on the trail, conceived as the first leg of a 6-mile multi-use path between Washington and Sperryville, capped nearly three hours of heated public comment from more than 50 county residents. The vote required RappTrails to deliver an irrevocable letter of credit or some other guarantee that taxpayer money will not be used to build the trail. […]

Land Use/Zoning

Washington Post Office has new construction option within town limits

A private developer of U.S. Postal Service buildings has submitted an offer to buy a piece of property owned by the Town of Washington at the southwest corner of Warren Avenue and Leggett Lane with the aim of constructing a new post office. “It’s a serious enough offer that we’re taking it seriously,” said Washington Mayor John Fox Sullivan, who took the Town Council into closed-door session Monday evening to discuss the proposal. […]