Thursday, February 04, 2010

Augusta County shuts down Rocket Boys ... 7

Part 7: Augusta County tells VAST, "It's just a formality."

See part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

After the landowner was notified by Augusta County Zoning Administrator, Mr. Wilkinson, that launchings on the landowner's property must receive a Special Use Permit, the rocketry club began to prepare its case in what they were assured would be "just a formality."

Scientists are known to be precise and meticulous in their record keeping. VAST continues its well-kept documentation with its legal timeline:

The legal timeline shows that what began as a simple formality to ask for a before-not-mentioned permit (the club had no idea a complaint had been filed) had ended up in appeal in the court system.

Here VAST is informed it is only a "formality":
c. [Zoning Administrator] Mr. Wilkinson informs that if VAST wants to continue its activities, it needs to apply for an Special Use Permit (SUP), pay a $250.00 application fee, and present a request to the Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals at a public meeting.

d. Landowner and VAST are told it is just a formality. Then attention is turned to the porta-johns.

e. Mr. Wilkinson states that the County does have concerns with the porta-john as well as the occasional camping done on site.

f. He advises that VAST may be required to install a well, septic system with drain field, and permanent restroom facilities. He directs VAST to contact the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for the applicable regulations.

g. He also directs VAST to contact the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) about possible field entrance requirements.
So what began as "just a formality" turned into talk of the county possibly requiring the installation of a septic system with a drain field, providing permanent restroom facilities, and drilling a well as while as the need to check with VDOT about "field entrance requirements" off a dirt road in rural western Augusta County.

All this for an activity held two days a month.

Back to the VAST timeline:

4. July 22, 2009 - VAST contacts the Virginia Department of Health.
a. VAST describes its monthly activities, attendance history, and porta-john servicing schedule.

b. VDH informs VAST that they have no issues with the use of a porta-john or the occasional on-site camping.
5. July 22, 2009 - VAST contacts the Virginia Department of Transportation.
a. VAST describes its monthly activities and attendance history.

b. VDOT states that based on the expected low volume of traffic, no changes to the existing field entrance would probably be required.

c. VDOT stipulates that once they are notified by the County of the SUP request, they will perform an inspection and make official recommendations then.
Next -- Part 8: VAST prepares for Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting

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