New Kent Supervisors to review stormwater ordinance, historic high school renovation subcommittee at Oct. 30 work session

By Amy Jo Martin, amartin@tidewaterreview.com


NEW KENT – The New Kent County Board of Supervisors will be reviewing several hot topics at its work session Wednesday morning.

Among its nine agenda items, the board will discuss: the proposed changes to the county's stormwater ordinance, the proposed Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a mini-storage facility in Lanexa, and member appointments to the historic high school renovation subcommittee.

•Stormwater ordinance (9:40 a.m.): Despite resounding concern among both its members and residents, the New Kent County Planning Commission voted 8-1on October 21 to forward the proposed stormwater ordinance amendments with a favorable recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

According to New Kent County Attorney Michele Gowdy, localities are now required by the state to establish administration and enforcement of the general Virginia Stormwater Management Program's (VSMP) permit, and that New Kent County Environmental Manager Matt Venable would serve as VSMP administrator, and regulate land-disturbing activities.

Gowdy stressed that the stormwater regulations are mandatory and that the county is required to send it through the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by December in order to make the June 2014 extended deadline.

Despite this, several residents questioned the necessity of the stormwater amendments, and cited inconsistencies and unnecessary "legalese," or legal jargon in the lengthy document.

•Mini-storage CUP (10:10 a.m.): Despite concerns about future site plans and property cleanup, the New Kent County Planning Commission voted 9-1 on October 21 to forward a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for a mini-storage facility to the Board of Supervisors with a favorable recommendation.

Monte Brown (JackAss Flats) has applied for a CUP to build 40 self-storage units, as well as dry storage for boats and RVs, at the intersection of Route 60 and Rockahock Road (3201 and 13208 Rockahock Road).

Brown said he intends to build on a four-acre parcel zoned commercial, which has two existing buildings, once used for short-term residential rental and store frontage. He also intends on clearing an undeveloped 2.75-acre parcel.

When the applicant was questioned about the planning process, Gowdy chimed in, reminding the commission about its role.

"The goal of the Conditional Use Permit is the use. So, really what he's asking for is to allow mini-storage. It doesn't really have anything to do with the development of the building," Gowdy said.

"You can't really condition steps of approval."

•Historic high school renovation project subcommittee (11:10 a.m.): The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on October 15 to keep control of the historic high school project's next phase, rather than hand it over back over to the School Board, and to create a subcommittee that includes both Supervisors and School Board members.

Gowdy and County Administrator Rodney Hathaway will discuss possible appointments to the historic high school renovation project from both boards around 11 a.m.

The historic high school renovation project scope includes gutting the existing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system, as well as stabilizing the entire building, for an upper elementary school (serving grades 3-5), for a total of $8.5 million.

Though initially intended as a School Board project, Supervisors voted on September 28 to take control. This was based on emails from the Virginia Department of Education with misinformation about the School Board's actions.

The Board of Supervisors will meet on Wednesday in the County Administration Building boardroom, starting at 9 a.m.

Visit: http://www.co.new-kent.va.us for more information or to view the agenda and packet materials.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.