The Fauquier County Planning Commission Thursday voted 3-2 to recommend that the Board of Supervisors deny special exceptions for the controversial Barrel Oak Sanctuary project.
The planning commission members for the Center and Lee districts voted in favor of approving the project after Bob Lee, the Marshall district Commissioner, made a motion that the application for the project not be approved citing its inconsistency with the County’s recently approved Rural Lands Plan.
The Commissioners who voted in favor of the hotel project, offered no reasons for their decisions.
Many in the packed hearing room appeared to be surprised about the close vote. During over an hour of comments from the public, over 25 individuals spoke, with all but three strongly opposed to the project. The opposing views expressed were very consistent: incompatibility of the project with the County’s comprehensive plan; the adverse impact on an area zoned rural/agricultural; and, a collection of concerns regarding public health and safety, including impacts to the water supply and dangerous traffic conditions on Grove Lane.
This local road already serves as the entrance to the very nearby Barrel Oak and Blue Valley wineries. It is a dangerous road according to the state of Virginia’s accident database (Traffic Records Electronic Data System (TREDS.) From March, 2017 to September, 2019, there were 14 traffic accidents on the one and one-half mile stretch of Grove Lane from the entrance to the proposed project to Maidstone Road near Delaplane.
The Board of Supervisors are expected review all aspects of the hotel project at their November meeting.
Our efforts to oppose the project will continue and we’ll look for even stronger community opposition to the project in the coming weeks.
Many thanks to those who voiced their concerns at last night’s meeting and who have sent in letters and emails to the County leadership.