Monette property owners appeal zoning

Published 12:56 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2016

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The owners of what is known locally as “Monettes” are seeking to remove restrictive conditions on one of its buildings on the property located off Days Point Road.

The application goes before the Isle of Wight County Board of Zoning Appeals on July 11.

An attempt by Accelerated Properties to rezone the entire 12-acre property earlier this year was met with stiff opposition from neighbors, who were concerned that the plans for the property were too vague and a potential events center would bring an onslaught of traffic, noise and alcohol use.  

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors denied the rezoning request in April.{mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

At issue is the original 1982 rezoning and whether or not two conditions were part of that action at the time.

According to the applicant, there is no record of the owner at the time voluntarily proffering to put restrictions on the use of the property.

Isle of Wight County staff said the notations on a 1982 rezoning card indicate the property has only two permitted uses — general office and business support services, said Isle of Wight County Assistant Planning and Zoning Director Richard Rudnicki.

The applicant wants to the property designated as general commercial with no conditions, he said.

They are arguing a technicality, Rudnicki said of Accelerated Properties.

Accelerated Properties bought the property three years ago for $1.3 million. It was once owned by Alan Monette who lives next door — along with several other older and elderly residents.

For decades, Monette and his father quietly ran a military exchange and commissary supply business and later a computer data processing center there.

Currently, Accelerated Properties has about 25 employees working for Accelerated Financial Solutions in one building, but the other two are vacant and deteriorating. 

In its earlier rezoning application, Accelerated Properties sought an expanded set of potential uses, such as a commercial indoor events center.

Unlike the Board of Supervisors, the Board of Zoning Appeals is a quasi-judicial body where decisions are legally binding, Rudnicki said.

The public can speak on the appeal, but the comments should have no bearing on the final decision, he added.

The BZA can either agree with the applicant and remove the conditions to make it straight general commercial, or it can uphold the staff’s interpretation that the property carries two conditions.

If the BZA denies the appeal, the applicant can take its case to the circuit court, Rudnicki said.

The BZA considers whether the property owner has suffered undue hardship based on the lack of a variance, and if granting a variance would not injure or endanger other people or property, according to the Code of Virginia.

The BZA is made up of five members from each election district, and they are appointed by five-year terms by the circuit court.  {/mprestriction}