Pocahontas Business Seeks To Expand Footprint To Highland County
Monterey, Va – In Highland County few meetings of county officials attract more attention than those dealing with rezoning issues. This was the case at the recent joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission and Town Council in Monterey.
Zoning regulations are often complicated and difficult to interpret, leaving applicants uncertain how to proceed. Mr. Jacob Meck and his wife Malinda have requested a zoning change from A1 to B2 for part of the Hooke Brothers sawmill property in Mill Gap. The Mecks are planning to close on this property contingent on rezoning the property for their business activities.
The Mecks currently operate three businesses from their location in Green Bank, West Virginia, Jacob Meck Construction, Alleghany Disposal and a septic pumping and portable toilet business. Supervisor Jerry Rexrode speaks in support of the Meck’s plan to place part of their business in Highland County.
“We use Mr. Meck’s service constantly, and certainly to have his business located here in the county, it would have to be a great benefit,” says Rexrode. “It would hold costs down; we rent his porta-johns all the time, for different events and the closer he is too us, he’s not going to have to raise his costs.”
“You have to have portable toilets anymore on all construction sites and with then located in the county, it couldn’t be nothing but beneficial.”
Mrs. Meck also addresses the question of how moving part of their business to Highland County would be beneficial to the county.
“The specific piece that we have now, we can’t expand into it anymore, we need more room so that we can grow our business,” she says. “And with this property here it’s more centrally located which would allow us to pre service it. And hopefully be more jobs as well simply because of being able to service more.”
“One thing we do in Pocahontas County, we also do it here as well, is septic pumping. And that is a lot more difficult to do coming to this area. If I can move to a more central location so that I cut down the travel time, I can keep my costs down and make it more economical to provide those services so that’s one of the things we looked at with a more central location.”
Commission member Sue Cornelius speaks to her concern about the Meck’s rezoning application
“We’re talking about an area that’s all either conservation district or A-1,” she says. “I’m not sure that B-2 fits with the general atmosphere of the rest of that surrounding area and that would be my biggest concern.”
Supervisor Rexrode follows up with his recommendation.
“It’s very hard to just take a B-2 and plop it down in the middle of A-2 or A-1, that’s called spot zoning’,” says Rexrode. “And if you don’t have a B-2 adjoining it, that’s pretty hard to get. It would fit better under A-2 I think.”
Planning Commission chairman Harry Sponaugle makes a suggestion to the Mecks.
“What you’re wanting to do would probably fit better with an A-2 district and I think you could still do everything, and we can give you the option of changing to that tonight or you can come back next month if you want to study it,” he says.
The Mecks agreed to change their rezoning application to now have this property rezoned from A1 to A2 with a conditional use permit. The Planning Commission approved a motion to put this rezoning request up for public hearing at their next meeting on Thursday, December 22.
In other business, the Planning Commission approved the Highland School’s request to put a 71 foot monopole tower and wind turbine up on school grounds near the north side of the school parking lot.
The next meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30 PM in the Modular Conference Center. The Planning Commission will meet on Thursday, December 22 at 7:30 PM.