Bath Supervisors approve laundromat rezoning
Hot Springs, Va. –
Rezoning for a laundromat is approved by the Bath Board of Supervisors.
At its monthly meeting on Tuesday night, the Board approved a request to rezone a parcel of about two acres to general business in order to create a laundromat in an existing building there. The property is located at 5155 Sam Snead Highway, which is a designated growth area. All adjoining properties are zoned residential.
County Planner and Zoning Administrator Sherry Ryder reported that she had received letters both in support and in opposition of the request. Some of the opposition was not concerned with the creation of the laundromat but with the adjoining vacant lot that’s part of the property that could be open to more businesses since it would also be rezoned.
There was discussion about the size and condition of the adjacent lot and Supervisor Kevin Fry explained that it is a non-
buildable lot, due to fill dirt, drainage through it and set back requirements.
During the Board of Supervisors meeting, the Planning Commission also held its public hearing on the rezoning request. Tuesday night was the second time the Planning Commission had addressed this rezoning, because it was discovered that not all adjoining landowners had been notified of the rezoning request originally.
Planning Commission member Lynn Ellen Black said she had made a mistake thinking the rezoning was for just the building and didn’t understand that the entire property, including the lot would also to be rezoned. Black said she wanted the rezoning to go in only for the building.
The Planning Commission approved the rezoning on Tuesday night with a vote of 4 to 1, with Lynn Ellen Black voting against it. The Board of Supervisors then held its public hearing on the request, with comments both in favor of and against the rezoning. The Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning unanimously.
But Supervisor Kevin Fry said he was not happy with how they got to the vote. He called the situation murky, and said while he was willing to vote yes on the rezoning, he wanted the Planning Commission to look at how they got to this point and encouraged them to be more careful.
Supervisor Fry’s comment upset several Planning Commission members with Mike Grist saying he resented it and saying Fry was out of line. During public comment, Planning Commission member Jeff Wilson addressed Supervisor Fry’s comment. Wilson said the Planning Commission did a good job and that the Supervisors heard all the facts and made the same decision the Planning Commission recommended. Wilson said Supervisor Fry didn’t have a right to make that comment and that he should have done it in private.
Supervisor Fry responded by saying the rezoning was for a laundromat and it turned into rezoning of the adjacent lot and even some of the members of the Planning Commission weren’t aware of that.
Fry said when he called the situation murky he said he was referring to a lack of communication that both boards need to work on. He said he felt like no one knew the full story on the whole thing. Supervisor Fry apologized to Planning Commission members.