Sheriff’s Office receives accreditation, sign ordinance amended, three public hearings set for March 20

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Page County Sheriff's Office

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Feb. 6 — During Monday night’s Page County Board of Supervisors’ work session, Todd Clingenpeel, program director of the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission, presented Page County Sheriff Chad Cubbage and his staff with their fifth accreditation award.

“Accreditation is a standard set by the state…me and my staff work diligently,” Sheriff Cubbage told the board of supervisors following the presentation. “This is not about me…this is not a one man show. My staff deserves a round of applause as much as anybody, because they work diligently.”

In December, a team of three assessors came to Page County from other agencies across the state and reviewed the Sheriff’s Office for its procedures in operations, administration, personnel, evidence and training. Random audits of evidence storage, interviews with staff, and a ride-a-long was conducted during the review period.

“Over 570 bullets [criteria] and 191 standards were reviewed for compliance,” Clingenpeel told the supervisors. He added that among nearly 400 law enforcement agencies statewide, only 101 are accredited.

The report generated by the assessment team was then reviewed by the VLEPSC board of directors, comprised of six police chiefs and six sheriffs from across the state.

“The Page County Sheriff’s Office is performing at an extremely high level,” Clingenpeel said. “The assessors found that there was strong community involvement, strong public relations, professionalism, and following the duties that they were sworn to do.”

The report found that property and evidence to be “immaculate”, policies and written directives were in order, deputies knew written directives well and followed them, and a ride-a-long with Deputy Cook “found him to be a highly professional deputy.”

“To be accredited it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of manpower,” Clingenpeel told the supervisors, “but it is also very rewarding because, when your agency gets the marks that your Sheriff’s Office received, the whole community can be very proud…”

In other business at its Feb. 6 work session, the Page County Board of Supervisors took the following actions:

• Unanimously voted to amend the county’s sign ordinance to address a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in which First Amendment free speech was protected in terms of how a locality’s sign ordinance regulates the content of public signs. In addition, the amendments included a provision that will allow long-requested signage for the Page County Technical Center on Route 340 Business between Luray and Stanley. The amendment addressing directional signage for public education facilities will allow a single sign up to 24 feet in height and up to 50 feet square in size within five miles of the educational facility. In December, supervisors asked the planning commission to add an amendment that would allow the Tech Center to have a sign on Route 340. The planning commission held a public hearing and voted unanimously to recommend approval of the amendments to the sign ordinance on Oct. 25, 2022.

• Unanimously voted to set a public hearing for their March 20 meeting to receive public comment on a rezoning application from Rebecca Graves Hudson to rezone five tracts of land near Stanley totaling about 56 acres from Industrial to Agricultural use. There were no objections from VDOT, the building inspector or the health department. The Page County Planning Commission held a public hearing on Jan. 24, with no objections from neighboring land owners, and unanimously recommended approval.

• Unanimously voted to set a public hearing for their March 20 meeting to receive public input on multiple amendments to Chapter 125 of the Page County Zoning Ordinance. Among the changes being proposed are amending the current definition of “Guest House”, striking a section on supplemental regulations, striking a section related to storage buildings, striking the current definition of “confined feeding operations” and some clerical adjustments.

• Reviewed a potential change to the county code regulating the collection of lodging taxes presented to the board of supervisors by Commissioner of the Revenue Becky Smith. The issue will first go through the planning commission before being formally presented to the supervisors, but Smith wanted the board to be familiar with the issue. The proposal deals with adjusting the current county code (written in 1986) to give the commissioner of the revenue more authority to force “intermediaries” who book local lodgings (such as Airbnb) to collect transient occupancy taxes, which are then sent to the commissioner (who collects gross receipts from all businesses). In addition, the commissioner wants to be able to force these intermediaries to identify the renters, which they sometimes do not do, sending the TOT levy in a lump sum. Smith says the code adjustment will give her office greater ability to enforce the code and save a great deal of staff time. The commissioner also noted that 85 percent of short-term rentals in the county reported their receipts every month without incident.

For more information about the operations of Page County government,

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