Highland County Board of Supervisors August Meeting

The Highland County Board of Supervisors held its regular monthly meeting August 3.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd handed out some new information to Board members on the proposed Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area.  She received the information from Lynn Cameron of Friends of Shenandoah Mountain.  Dowd also said that Cameron had set up a meeting with Darryl Armstrong, who spoke at the last Supervisors meeting with concerns about the proposal and questions about designating the land as wilderness.

During open public comment, Colter Stout spoke about his future plans to open a cannabis cultivation facility in Highland.  Stout is from Alexandria, Virginia and owns property on Upper Back Creek Road.  He said he wanted to introduce himself and start the conversation about the planned facility.  He stressed that plans at this point were very preliminary and he wanted to talk with the Board early in the process.  He is planning to build an indoor cannabis cultivation facility, with no retail or manufacturing.  Stout said the facility will create jobs, although it is too early to estimate how many.  He plans to construct a 50,000 square foot building along with additional greenhouses.  He said in 2023 he will be applying for one of the 450 cultivation licenses to be issued in Virginia.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd said he would need to submit plans for the building and greenhouses to Zoning Administrator Josh Simmons and Stout indicated he had already talked with Simmons about the project.  In answering a question from Dowd, Stout said the facility will be water intensive and he plans to use water from the well on the property.   Virginia has begun the process to legalize cannabis and create regulations for its sale.  Commercial sales of cannabis begin in Virginia January 1, 2024.

The next meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors is its monthly work session on Wednesday, August 18.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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