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Yancey Lumber zoning violation appeal deferred

An appeal hearing for a zoning violation against Yancey Lumber Co. has been deferred again.

The company is in the process of requesting multiple special exceptions from Albemarle County for certain setback requirements and other ordinance regulations for new equipment, but meetings with the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors are delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A notice of violation was issued by the county in December due to a piece of equipment in the Virginia Department of Transportation right of way and a new piece of equipment, a sorter-stacker, that does not meet setback requirements.

Yancey Lumber appealed the notice in January, and the meeting before the Board of Zoning Appeals was originally scheduled for April but was initially deferred until Tuesday.

The Board of Zoning Appeals voted unanimously to defer the appeal hearing to its Aug. 4 meeting. Yancey Lumber requested the deferral so it can continue to go through the special exception process, which could resolve the zoning violation.

“Right now, all of the other issues that people are concerned about are the purview of the Board of Supervisors, so we just can’t do that,” said BZA member Marcia Joseph. “The only thing that we’re looking at are these violations stated in this letter of December, 20 2019.”

A letter from an attorney representing adjoining property owners suggested neighbors could support a deferral if the company stopped all operations within the current set-back area until a resolution is reached on the special exceptions.

The company said that not using that equipment would result in the entire business shutting down. It has continued operations during the appeal.

Board member Randy Rinehart said he was sympathetic to the neighbors, but supported waiting.

“I’m just struggling with saying why we can’t defer this, and allow the parties to work it out, versus stopping the whole operation and costing people’s jobs for several months and so forth,” he said. “But I am not insensitive to the noise that they are currently under.”

Valerie Long with Williams-Mullen, who is representing Yancey Lumber, told the board that the company had also bought the land from VDOT, so the one piece of equipment was no longer in the right of way.

The special exception requests are scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on June 23 and the Board of Supervisors on July 15.


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