Highland County Planning Commission’s February Meeting

At the February Highland County Planning Commission meeting, a zoning amendment was approved by the Commission, the Board of Supervisors and the Monterey Town Council.  The amendment clarified the definition of the airport zoning ordinance by adding to the airport definition the inclusion of all necessary accessory buildings and hangers.

The Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors also approved a Conditional Use Permit for a campground at Hannah Field, at 869 Airport Terrace Road, owned by Oren Heatwole.  He plans to create a fly in campground and construct bath house facilities and hangers.  There was only one comment made on the application at the meeting.  Heidi Lewis asked if quiet hours would be built in to the permit, if limitations would be placed on the number of take offs and landings and if there would be reasonable expectations on flyovers.

It was explained that there will be no night time or bad weather flying, since the airport is visual daytime operation only, with visual flight rules.  The campground will offer primitive tent camping, will not be open to RV’s and reservations will be made in advance.

The Conditional Use Permit for the campground was approved with the added restrictions of tent camping only, plane traffic only and daylight use only conditions for flying, with visual flight rules in effect.

Heatwole asked about allowing campers be used at the campground occasionally, under temporary conditions, such as when families fly in.   The current RV ordinance requires a landowner to get a permit if more than 2 RV’s will be parked on the property and the time limit is no longer than five days.  Landowners can only get two permits per year.   After discussing Heatwole’s request and the current ordinance, the Commission made plans to possibly revise the ordinance, when County Attorney Melissa Dowd can provide more information for a revision.

The Planning Commission also discussed a Conditional Use Permit application submitted by Ben Armet for a campground at 6983 Cowpasture Road North in Headwaters.  Armet currently owns a non-profit organization there that provides summer camp for home school students.  He wants to open a campground with approximately 45 camp sites, to be open on special event weekends, and possibly during the week in the future.   The campground will be open by reservation and will allow tents and pop-up campers only, with no RV’s.   He plans to renovate several existing buildings into bath houses.   The Planning Commission approved sending the application to a public hearing with the Board of Supervisors, likely to be held March 25 at the Planning Commission’s next meeting.

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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