Highland Planning Commission’s June Meeting

The Highland County Planning Commission held it’s monthly meeting on June 23.  At the meeting, members reviewed an application for a Conditional Use Permit for a Bed and Breakfast at 216 Potomac River Road in Monterey.   The application explained that guests will be on their own in the house, as is typical with an Airbnb rental, with service being provided by the proprietor or an agent nearby.  Guidelines submitted with the application include no more than six overnight guests and no more than three vehicles parked overnight.  The current owners are Debora and Kenny Hodges and the applicant is John McNamara.   McNamara is in the process of purchasing the property with co-owner Daniel Dobson.  McNamara plans to become a part-time resident and will be the proprietor of the Bed and Breakfast.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd said she was impressed with the thoroughness of the application.  She explained that a Conditional Use Permit is required because the property is zoned R-1.

Dowd recommended the application be set for public hearing and the Planning Commission set the public hearing for its next meeting, on July 28th at 7:30.

Dowd also said she plans to work with Zoning Administrator Josh Simmons to clean up some of the different lodging definitions in the zoning regulations.   She felt the different definitions such as hotel, tourist home, bed and breakfast, guest homes and others need to be consolidated or eliminated, since they are all listed differently.  She said the old definitions are not keeping with current lodging offerings, such as Airbnb.

In other business, the Planning Commission approved the renewal of two Conditional Use Permits:

Travis Lambert for a car care center adjacent to Possum Trot Lane and Fred Rhodes for operation of an auto graveyard along with land owner Pat Hull.

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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