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Pleasants Landing owner loses zoning, building code appeals

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 5:00 am

Board of Zoning Appeals members Ray Lacy, Joe Leslie and Ron Knighton; Louisa County Code Enforcement Officer Ron Kesner; and Attorney Torrey Williams pore over a 1968 map of Lake Anna’s proposed zoning during the Nov. 15 board meeting. The map became an issue when Leslie challenged county staff’s assertion that the land underneath the lake is zoned for agricultural use.

Outdoor concerts and other events at Pleasants Landing, on the east end of Lake Anna would be temporary in nature, so the county has the right to deny permits for them.

That was the ruling of the Louisa County Board of Zoning Appeals on Nov. 15, when it met to consider owner Michael Vallerie’s contention that he should not have to apply for a conditional use permit every time he wants to host a band, a triathlon, or a festival on his commercial property.

The BZA’s vote was 4-0, with Chairman Susan Fletcher, Joe Leslie, Ray Lacy and Ron Knighton in attendance. Three members were absent, including Sanders Wyatt, Juanita Jo-Matkins, and Dudley Delbridge.

Vallerie has contended that hosting regular outdoor gatherings on his property is how he intends to raise the profile of Pleasants Landing and draw business.

“I’m trying to solicit an event management group and I’ve got to handcuff them before they can get started,” Vallerie said.

Vallerie’s attorney, Mark Kronenthal, argued that Pleasants Landing has multiple permanent features that would be used to host events, including a stage for concerts. Jeff Ferrel, Louisa County assistant administrator, said while the features may be permanent, the events are decidedly temporary, since each one could be different from the next.

“When you have more than 200 people, it’s appropriate to get a conditional use permit to protect the people coming in and out and the adjacent properties,” Ferrel said. “It is not overreaching, it’s normal policy.”

If the events were permanent, he said, county fire and rescue officials, the sheriff’s office and the Virginia Department of Transportation would know with each event what security precautions and traffic control plans are necessary. He added that with events that vary, the county has the right to impose conditions to control the nature of each one.

To read the entire story, see the Nov. 23 edition of The Central Virginian.