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Two out of three land use requests pass

SoVaNow.com / September 05, 2013
Halifax County supervisors on Tuesday night approved two land use applications following public hearings on each request. Supervisors also approved a plan for expanding the local Enterprize Zone, which could result in financial incentives being offered to businesses that locate in the area.

Supervisors tabled a third request for rezoning in the Shepherd’s Gate community after considerable opposition surfaced at the public hearing.

By an 8-0 vote, the Board granted a conditional use permit for Walter Coates to operate a gun shop out of an accessory building adjacent to his home at 1043 Parsonage Road, Nathalie, in ED-1. The permit was granted with 11 conditions attached, setting the times of operation allowable and parking requirements.

Supervisors also approved the rezoning of 10.4 acres at the former South of Dan elementary school in ED-7, now owned by The Worship Center, from A-1 agricultural to R-2 residential. The church’s pastor, David Berry, explained that his church wants to renovate four classrooms of the former school into temporary housing units in order to be able to offer them to families displaced from their homes by fires or natural disasters. Berry explained that the community currently has no such facilities and over the past year there have been seven families who might have benefited from such a service.

The third request, by Mary Blakeslee, to rezone a parcel of the Shepherd’s Gate community to R-1 — it is now zoned M-1 Limited Industrial — was tabled after several local residents spoke in opposition to the change. Blakeslee, granddaughter of the late Dr. Singleton Belk, who started the Halycon Hospital, pointed out that most of the buildings in the area are single family residential units (56 percent, according to Halifax County Planner Robbie Love).

But Ronnie Green of Ernie’s Restaurant pointed out that Blakeslee’s land adjoins his property at the back of his restaurant, and he worries that low income housing units will be placed there on the small lots. He noted he has already suffered with problems of low-incoming housing apartments that are located across from his business.

Ricky Nelson, who grew up in the community and whose parents still live there, also opposed the rezoning. He fears that three or four houses would be built close to their property and he has encountered problems with renters.

Nelson also owns property there and said he would lose some 50 feet of usable space because of county buffer restrictions if the zoning were changed.

Leslie Cook, who lives in the community and operates an automotive repair shop there, said he feels rezoning would lower surrounding property values. He also worried that because he has the only access road from the highway to several of the lots behind him, people would use his private driveway to get to their lots.

After hearing opponents’ comments, supervisors tabled any action on the request, which had been recommended by the planning board for approval on a 4-3 vote. County Administrator Jim Halasz explained that the issue can be brought back to the board at any time and that no additional public hearings will be necessary.

In their final hearing, the Board unanimously approved amendments to the County’s Enterprize Zone which will increase the acreage of the zone from 3,445 acres to 3,840 acres. The new zone will include Sunshine Mills, the Halifax Burlington property, Krueger and Huber, making those companies eligible for special financial incentives.

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Mary Blakeslee, to rezone a parcel of the Shepherd’s Gate community to R-1 — it is now zoned M-1 Limited Industrial — was tabled after several local residents spoke in opposition to the change. Blakeslee, granddaughter of the late Dr. Singleton Belk, who started the Halycon Hospital,
WELCOME TO HALIFAX COUNTY VA MS. BLAKESLEE!!!!!!!!!!!


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