Bath County moves ahead to remove blighted structures

Hot Springs, Va. –

Bath County is moving ahead with demolition of blighted structures. At a meeting on Tuesday night, the Bath Board of Supervisors heard an update from County Building Inspector Andy Seabolt on the process that’s been underway to address blighted structures. Seabolt said the county does not have to take landowners to court prior to demolishing any structures. Seabolt said that personally he would like to give people they’ve had discussion with their day in court. For landowners that they’ve had no communication with, he recommended moving ahead with demolition. Supervisor Kevin Fry said the county needs to move forward on addressing this issue. He said blighted structures are a safety hazard and the county has given notice and extended the deadline for these property owners at least twice. Supervisor Fry said if landowners come in with an application for construction or demolition, that shows progress, otherwise the structures need to be dealt with. Any demolition cost incurred by the county will be invoiced to the landowner. If the landowner does not pay, a lien will be placed against the property.

Also on Tuesday night, the Board approved a deer herd management resolution that supports changes to Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, or DGIF, policies. The resolution calls for the establishment of antler restrictions of four points on one side for the second buck, removal of a week of early muzzle loading season, the establishment of a late muzzle loading season to end the last Saturday in December, removal of the national forest doe day in late muzzle loading, the engagement of forest services and other parties to produce better deer habitat, enforcement of maximum fines for game violations including an emphasis on poaching violations and promotion of education about land management and predators. During public comment Wayne Anderson of the Appalachian group of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association outlined his group’s proposed policy changes. He said the group is in agreement with the county’s resolution, but his group’s proposal also includes: allowing only two does per individual per year, increasing bear season to coincide with both weeks of rifle during deer season, adding one additional week of bear hunting with dogs in early October, increasing turkey hunting from the full week of Thanksgiving for bearded birds only and allowing the feeding of deer year around for game management purposes. Anderson said his group’s proposal has already been submitted to DGIF.

And the Board set two public hearing dates for upcoming meetings. The first will be held at the November 13th meeting. It’s on an application to rezone property at 5295 Sam Snead Highway from residential to convenience business.

The second public hearing was set for the December meeting. It’s on an application to amend the comprehensive plan to remove portions of a parcel from a designated growth area designation to allow for conservation easement. The property is located near 16538 Mountain Valley Road in Warm Springs.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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