Highland County Planning Commission’s February 2023 Meeting

The Highland County Planning Commission held it’s monthly meeting on February 23.

A joint public hearing was held with both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors on a Conditional Use Permit application for a motorcycle and ATV repair shop in Blue Grass.  The applicant is  Christopher McDaniel and the business will be located at 1003 Blue Grass Valley Road.

Building and Zoning Administrator Josh Simmons reported that the application fell under the definition of auto repair service, but that was not the work McDaniel would be doing.  Simmons said he received one letter expressing concern if vehicles are left outside and multiple phone calls with questions.  The property is zoned agricultural.   The applicant plans to use an existing garage for the business, until he can put in another building.

The applicant, Christopher McDaniel, explained that he currently works full time seven days a week outside of the county and is very involved in various motorsports activities.  With his current schedule, he said he only has about two hours a day to do repair work.  He said this will not be a large business, as he mostly does work for friends. McDaniel said he had been asked about noise and about vehicles being parked outside.  He said there are already seven vehicles on his property and they are all kept inside.  He also added that there have been no noise complaints and he has been doing this repair work on his own equipment for seven years.

Planning Commission members and County Attorney Melissa Dowd discussed concerns about lighting, keeping vehicles contained inside and time limits on work hours, due to noise.   Josh Simmons explained that McDaniel would have to comply with the county zoning ordinance for lighting and any lights would need to be downward directed.

It was explained that if the permit was issued, any conditions would need to be added now, because  once it is issued, conditions can’t be added later.  McDaniel said he was fine with conditions being added to the permit.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved a Conditional Use Permit, with restrictions, for Christopher McDaniel for motorcycle and ATV repair.  Work hours will be from 6 am to 11:30 pm and with a limit of eight vehicles.  The Board of Supervisors accepted the Planning Commission’s recommendation and also approved the Conditional Use Permit.

In other business, the Planning Commission reviewed and voted to approve its Annual Report for 2022.   In the Blue Grass District, there was a total of $1,266,000 in improvements, in the Monterey District $2,296,974 and in the Stonewall District $3,303,645 in improvements.

And the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the updated county Comprehensive Plan at it’s meeting on March 7.

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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