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Public hearings top agenda for Halifax County supervisors / March 05, 2018
The Halifax County Board of Supervisors will host three public hearings at the regular monthly meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of the Mary Bethune Complex in Halifax.

In the first hearing, Robert G. Fallen is seeking a conditional use permit to operate a lawn care business at 2060 Wolf Trap Road. The business also will sell mulch and landscape supplies, and produce and sell produce and craft items. A small engine repair shop is planned in the future. Halifax County Planners have unanimously recommended approval of Fallen’s request.

A second hearing is set on a request for a conditional use permit in ED-1, where Mark Ather is seeking to operate a motor sports track and entertainment complex for go-cart racing, four wheeler flat track racing and outdoor entertainment. Members of the Planning Commission voted to deny a permit for the Republican Grove racetrack after several citizens spoke up against the project. However. Ather is now asking Supervisors to delay any decision on his request for the next 30 to 60 days in order to give him time to talk with those who oppose the track and allay their concerns.

In the third hearing, Alton Post Office Solar is seeking a conditional use permit for the installation of a 80-megawatt solar energy facility on 502 acres on two plots, the first being east of its intersection with Hendricks Road and Alton Post Office Road and the second plot east of the intersection with Mt. Carmel Road.

Planners recommended that a conditional use permit be approved for Alton Post Office Road solar field, which is expected to take up only about 225 acres of the 502-acre spread. In response to questions from neighbors about the effect of the project on property values, the company conducted a report showing there would be no impact on nearby home values.

Following the public hearings, any citizen who wants to address the board may do so during a designated period. This is a change in format for supervisors, who previously set aside the end of the monthly meetings for public comments.

A VDOT representative is expected to update supervisors on the status of the Clarkton Bridge and what role the county may have in the bridge’s future. Supervisors are being asked to consider a Memorandum of Agreement which outlines the process of determining the disposition of the bridge and what role the county may have in the process. VDOT has called for dismantling the century-old span, which is no longer in use and deemed a safety hazard by VDOT.

The Board will consider the creation of a fee schedule for building permits that are required for the solar farms. The proposed fee schedule uses the amount of megawatts to calculate the permit fee.

In other business, Barbara Bass of the Halifax County Historical Society is asking that the county waive delinquent taxes on two parcels of land along the Dan River that contain the 1781 Crossing of the Dan exhibit.

The board will also be asked to waive all permit fees that would be charged for the Meadville Road housing rehab program if the project is successful. Currently, the Southside Planning District Commission has been working to qualify for inclusion in a housing rehab grant and a waiver of the permit fees is needed for the grant application.

Responding to last month’s request from three local builders for reimbursement of future real estate taxes as an incentive for more residential building, the County Finance Committee is recommending that no action be taken on the request.

The finance panel noted that a tax incentive for the developers could mean that revenue needs would be shifted to businesses and individuals who pay local taxes.

The board will consider a number of appointments, including seats on the Transportation Safety Commission, Lake Country Area Agency on Aging, the South Central Workforce Development Board, Tri-County Action Agency, the Improvement Council and the Southside Planning District Commission. Also the terms of three members of the Agriculture Development Advisory Committee have expired.

Supervisors are expected to enter into closed session following their regular meeting to consider the purchase of real property around the Courthouse Square as well as discussing the performance of certain county employees including the county administrator.

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