Highland County Planning Commission January Meeting

At it’s January meeting, the Highland County Planning Commission along with the Highland County Board of Supervisors approved a Conditional Use Permit for a small restaurant at Jackson River Bakery and Deli.  A joint public hearing was held and the Conditional Use Permit application was passed unanimously by both boards.  Jackson River Bakery and Deli is owned by Adam Yoder and is located at 1812 Jackson River Road in Monterey.

The Planning Commission also discussed another Conditional Use Permit application.  The applicant is Oren Heatwole and the application is for a campground at 869 Airport Terrace Road, which is owned by Hannah Field LLC.  The campground will be a fly in campground.  Heatwole explained that campers will fly in, use an airport car that is provided to travel around the area and then stay overnight at the campground.  Campers will supply their own tents and equipment.   Heatwole plans to build shower and bath room facilities as well as hangers to be used by local pilots.   The location will be part of a national organization, the Recreational Aviation Foundation, which works to preserve grass landing strips.   Heatwole said planes will only be flying in in good weather in the daytime.  He said he wants this campground to only be available for the airplane community and he said the RAF organization is providing the funding for the shower and bath room facility.    County Attorney Melissa Dowd explained that the county’s current definition of an airport doesn’t permit hangers and parking.   She recommended amending the airport definition to include hangers and any accessory buildings to go with an airport, explaining that was the better legal way to proceed.    The Planning Commission voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the revision of the airport definition, along with a public hearing on the Conditional Use Permit for the campground.  Both public hearings will be held with the Board of Supervisors at the Planning Commission’s next meeting on February 25th at 7:30 at the Highland Modular Conference Center.

The Planning Commission’s Annual Report for 2020 was presented at the meeting showing 74 permits issued in 2020, compared to 77 issued in 2019.  The total estimated cost of new construction in 2020 was just over $4.8 million dollars.

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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