Council delays action on Fairview boundary line adjustment and other news from Luray

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LURAY, Sept. 12 — Although there were no speakers at the public hearing on Monday night, the Luray Council delayed action on a request by Ramsey Inc. to bring 14 lots at Fairview Estates into Town limits for the planned construction of duplexes.

“There seems to be a lack of communication between the county, the developer and the Town,” Councilman Jason Pettit said during Monday’s discussion. Pettit noted concern over several issues, including whether the Town would be responsible for interior roads or alleys within the subdivision, and whether or not the development would connect to Ellis Drive — a privately maintained dirt road, and not officially a county road.

The request to bring the 5.61-acres into the Town is motivated by the developer’s desire to pay in-town rates and tap fees for water and sewer utilities, even though the county would still retain the right to collect real estate taxes on the property (as well as the Town). In addition, the developer plans to seek the Town’s R-3 zoning for the 14 lots, which allows for higher-density housing, if the boundary line adjustment goes through. The property is currently zoned for low-density housing as R-1 residential.

The Page County Board of Supervisors will be holding its public hearing on the Fairview Estates boundary line adjustment at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 in the government center on South Court Street in Luray.

The only feedback the Luray Council received from the public on the issue came in the form of a letter received the same day as the Town’s public hearing. Michael and Beverly Reich of South Antioch Road felt the development had “substandard lot sizes” and “sits in the middle of farmland.”

Page County’s Planning and Community Development Department has reviewed the survey plat and has resolved some issues with the applicant, according to a previous report by the town manager.

With issues and concerns remaining about private right-of-ways, the inclusion (or exclusion) of a cul-de-sac, a connection from the planned “Arthur Drive” to Ellis Drive, and issues that could raise with a privately maintained road and not officially being on VDOT’s list.

Councilman Ligon Webb made the motion to table the issue until more information could be obtained. The motion was seconded by Councilman Jerry Schiro and unanimously passed. The boundary line adjustment is expected to be on the council’s agenda at its October meeting.

In other business at its Sept. 12 meeting, the Luray Council took the following actions:

• Unanimously approved the preliminary and final plat received from Baker Development Partnership, LLC for the subdivision of six parcels in the Luray Landing Planned Neighborhood Subdivision into 75 townhomes lots long Caterpillar Drive and Rae Court. Tyler Austin of Racey Engineering reported that the developers lost four lots on each street in the redesign that could be added back in future development of the project. The council also discussed retention of the pond at the development, which has been in place long before Luray Landing began construction. Current stormwater management plans plans call for the pond to be filled in, but prior drainage issues were noted on Cave Hill Road — which the pond fixed. “It works the way it is now,” Austin reported. However, FAA regulations regarding wet lands (and the potential for migratory birds near the airport) restrict the construction of new bodies of water around aviation facilities. Town officials note that the pond existed before the development, it currently controls drainage issues in the area, and it adds to the amenities of the neighborhood. A meeting is being planned to get all parties at the same table to see if the pond can be retained, which would require a modification to the current DEQ permit for the project.

• Heard a report from Luray Downtown Initiative Program Director Jackie Elliot that the 2022 Page Valley Sunflower Festival was a “huge success” with more than 2,000 visitors (counted at the gate). “I think this is an event that will continue to grow,” Elliot said. She also reported that awnings have been removed at the former Artisans Grill at Main and Broad streets and work continues for a planned opening in the next couple of months; Porch and Vine (formerly the Chapman House) is planning for a spring 2023 opening; the Town’s Downtown Halloween is planned from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31, and preparations are being made for First Night Luray on New Year’s Eve.

• Unanimously approved American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding of $315,700 (includes 10-percent contingency) to replace pump equipment at the finished water building and the raw water building at the Town’s water treatment plant; and $7,072 in ARPA funding to renew a one-year advertising agreement with Page Valley News. Council also continued discussion on future ARPA allocations.

• Unanimously approved the Field Use, Equipment and Maintenance Agreement with Luray Youth Football and Cheer for use of Field 3 at Ralph Dean park.

• Unanimously approved the appointment of Vice Mayor Jerry Schiro to the Luray-Page County Airport Authority for a term that expires Aug. 20, 2026.

• Unanimously approved the designation of Mayor Jerry Dofflemyer as the Town’s voting delegate for the 2022 Virginia Municipal League annual business meeting.

• Unanimously approved the amendment to Chapter 10.2 Licensure Salary Adjustments of the Town’s Personnel Policies Manual to establish salary adjustments for plant operator’s obtaining a Class 5 license ($750) and a Class 6 license ($500).

• Unanimously accepted the sanitary, access and utility easements from Gwynne Jewell for several parcels and authorized the town manager to execute the Deed of Easement.

• Continued discussion of the Town addressing blighted and derelict properties within Town limits. That discussion will continue at the council’s September work session.

Luray briefs taken, in large part, from notes provided by the Town Manager.

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Sept. 12 Luray Council meeting may be viewed on the Town’s YouTube page by clicking below.

For more information about the Town of Luray, visit their website at www.townofluray.com

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