Enough is enough on Ben Venue Road

Rappahannock News - - COMMENT -

If you have driven on Ben Venue Road re­cently, you may have en­coun­tered a trac­tor trailer or large log­ging truck com­ing to or from Wil­liams Tree Ser­vice op­er­at­ing on that nar­row, wind­ing road. In the ten years since they re­ceived their per­mit to op­er­ate com­mer­cially in this agri­cul­tural zone, the piles of wood and mulch at Wil­liams Tree Ser­vice have grown, as well as the dan­ger­ous truck traf­fic on Ben Venue Road.

On Mon­day, Au­gust 6th, the Rappahannock Board of Su­per­vi­sors will hold a pub­lic hear­ing to re­view William Tree Ser­vice’s Spe­cial Ex­cep­tion Per­mit for this lo­ca­tion. It is pos­si­ble that this will be the fi­nal re­view be­fore the per­mit is made per­ma­nent.

But sev­eral peo­ple are ques­tion­ing how this per­mit ever came to be. The Wil­liams Tree Ser­vice per­mit for a “Con­trac­tor’s Of­fice, Shop, and Ma­te­ri­als Stor­age Yard” in no way fits the zon­ing code’s def­i­ni­tion (1708) for this des­ig­na­tion.

In ad­di­tion, a 2010 per­mit was granted for Wil­liams Tree Ser­vice to move the “vast ma­jor­ity of their op­er­a­tion” to the for­mer E-Cow build­ing on Route 211, but res­i­dents of Ben Venue have waited and never seen that re­al­ity.

These and many other con­cerns were largely ig­nored by the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion on July 18th, which only sug­gested a “No Thru Trucks” sign, which clearly would not re­strict Wil­liams Tree Ser­vice traf­fic.

This is­sue af­fects ev­ery­one in the county who drives Ben Venue Road or lives on a sec­ondary road in an agri­cul­tural zone. It sets a dan­ger­ous prece­dent for other county roads and in­creases the like­li­hood of se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents on this one. Please write your Board of Su­per­vi­sors and at­tend Mon­day’s pub­lic hear­ing.

Bill Fre­itag, Ann Maclean, Susie MacNelly, Bob Mann, Jen­nifer Sch­er­schel Flint Hill

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