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VA Environmental Court Reinstates Self-Storage Zoning Permit

Article-VA Environmental Court Reinstates Self-Storage Zoning Permit

A zoning permit for the construction of a self-storage facility in Dorset, Va., was reinstated earlier this month by the states Environmental Court.

A zoning permit for the construction of a self-storage facility in Dorset, Va., was reinstated earlier this month by the state’s Environmental Court.

The original zoning permit was issued May 21, 2009 following approval of a site plan that includes three buildings and 72 self-storage units. Neighbors opposed the development by Bradley Tyler and appealed the decision to then Dorset Zoning Administrator Joseph Bamford. The neighbors contended the proposed development didn’t fit the use of “retail sales/rentals” as defined by the bylaws, according to the Environmental Court decision.

At an Aug. 31, 2009 public hearing the zoning board of adjustment (ZBA) issued a written decision voiding the permit. Tyler voiced concerns about the validity of the ZBA’s decision, which led the neighbors to appeal to the Environmental Court on Sept. 29, 2009. They claimed if the ZBA’s decision was invalid, then the permit was also.

Tyler filed a cross-appeal the next day, claiming the ZBA’s decision was invalid because it wasn’t reached by a majority of the nine-member ZBA. During the vote, four members said the facility didn’t constitute a permissible use in the Village Commercial District, three felt it was a permissible use and two did not vote, according to the decision.

The Environmental Court rejected the neighbors’ argument that permissible retail uses have to operate as a store or shop to meet the bylaw’s definition of retail. 

The neighbors opposing the project can appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.
Source:  The Manchester Journal,  Tyler Self Storage Permit Reinstated

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