LURAY, Jan. 2 — During Tuesday night’s work session, the Page County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to hold a public hearing on Feb. 20 to receive citizen input regarding a request by a Rileyville campground to triple in size.
Jeremy Baldwin currently operates River Run Campground, LLC, consisting of 45 primitive camping sites at 741 Carvell Road. The campground received its initial special use permit for those 45 sites on March 4, 2014. Now, Baldwin wants to add 80 additional primitive camping sites, along with the construction of eight cabins.
Baldwin submitted his application for this special use permit on Aug. 14, 2023, and it has been reviewed by staff. The planned expansion involves two parcels containing a total of 167 acres and zoned as Woodland Conservation. Due to Baldwin’s 2014 permit and the fact that he submitted the expansion application before the approval of the county’s new campground ordinance (adopted Nov. 20, 2023), “therefore, his [application] will fall under the previous regulations,” according to a report by Zoning Administrator Tracy Clatterbuck.
The Health Department will require that the applicant construct three restroom facilities throughout the campground, provide plans for approved sewage disposal, and obtain an Office of Drinking Water permit. VDOT has approved the existing entrance for the expansion, but supervisors would like to see a study conducted to project the impact on traffic along Carvell Road.
“Planning staff opinion is that this expansion of a current use may encourage economic growth that is compatible with the County’s rural character,” Clatterbuck stated in her report. “The BOS should be mindful of its location within the Environmental Preservation Tier and Prime Farmland, proximity to the Shenandoah River and George Washington National Forest, and location within FEMA’s 100-year flood plain when considering new or potential modifications to existing SUP conditions.”
The nearest dwelling that is not owned by the applicant sits 1,000 feet from the nearest corner of the campground expansion at 499 Alger Drive. The campground will be expected to maintain a 50-foot “green belt” along its perimeter.
Parking will be at individual campsites; no use of off-road or ATV vehicles (unless by owner) allowed; no fireworks or firearms will be allowed; and fire rings will be provided at each site with specific rules.
During a Nov. 14, 2023 public hearing, according to Clatterback, members of the Page County Planning Commission “received concerns from the public related to security of the campground and surrounding properties, trespassing, lack of enforcement of quiet times/hours of operation, compliance with the number of campsites, the use of fireworks within the campground, traffic impacts on Carvell Road and U.S. Hwy. 340N, parking issues along the road, noise concerns related to loud music, trash along the road, and flooding along the river.”
At the Nov. 14 public hearing, the planning commission decided to delay action on the application until the revised Campground Ordinance was adopted by the board of supervisors. Once the board approved the new ordinance on Nov. 20, the commission reconsidered Baldwin’s application on Nov. 28. After much discussion and several revisions to its list of 18 conditions, the commission voted unanimously, 4-0, to recommend approval.
In other actions at its Jan. 2 meeting, the Page County Board of Supervisors took the following actions:
• Unanimously named District 5 representative Jeff Vaughan as “first” vice chair, and District 1 representative Keith Guzy as “second” vice chair. The selections follow the recent tradition of naming the vice chairman on a rotating basis annually according to district in numerical order. A second vice chair was added this year after multiple absences by the at-large chairman and the current vice chairman, to ensure the smooth flow of board meetings and county business.
• Unanimously adopted the board’s rules and procedures with two small changes — the addition of a “second” vice chair, and the removal of “Tuesday” from some language for meetings (board meetings were previously held on Tuesdays and were moved to Mondays last year to better accommodate the chairman’s work schedule).
• Moved a scheduled presentation by Kyle Rosner of All Points Broadband to the board’s Feb. 5 work session, on the county’s portion of the multi-million-dollar, regional broadband project expected to fill in the gaps that others broadband providers left across the Page Valley’s unique landscape.
• Offered its consensus of support for participation in a study through Virginia Regional Transit to examine the costs and benefits of providing some type of regional public transportation for various citizen needs, such as doctor’s appointments or work in Harrisonburg and/or Winchester. The study will be paid in part by Valley Health, and in part by a program through James Madison University.
• Discussed a request by the chairman of the Page County Planning Commission, Jared Burner, to increase the membership of the planning commission from five members (one for each magisterial district) back to its “full” membership of 10 (two reps per district). Some supervisors expressed a clear desire to not go back to 10 members, when issues got bogged down and some planners did not attain certification to serve. However, the board also acknowledged that the commission was overwhelmed and getting “bogged down” now because of too few members. The group agreed to review some specific options at a future meeting, including the potential for three new advisory members (one representing each town in the county).
• Unanimously approved the appointment of Susan Kyle as the District 4 representative to the Page County Planning Commission. Kyle will be filling the unexpired term of Isaac Smelser, who began his four-year term as the District 4 representative on the board of supervisors Tuesday night. Kyle’s term runs through Jan. 11, 2027.
• Went into closed session to consult with legal counsel about “land acquisition for a jail facility” and a “public contract related to a jail facility.” No other information was given at the meeting.
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