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County Planners Hear Comments On 20 AFDs

Two people spoke in favor of specific agricultural and forestal districts (AFDs) Tuesday evening when the Halifax County Planning Commission held its public hearing on 20 AFD applications. These applications represent the last of this year’s applications being considered, according to County Planner Robbie Love.

Jerry Lovelace spoke in support of the 847.93-acre Love Shop application as well as the 514.04-acre Chappell’s Bottom application, while Gary Easley spoke in favor of the 462-acre Birch Creek Easley application.

An adjoining property owner to the Love Shop application, Lovelace said he favored both the Love Shop and Chappell’s Bottom applications.

Lovelace, who served as the chief land use officer for the county for over 30 years, co-authored the comprehensive plan for the county along with Bill Turner of Community Planning Collaborative.

Lovelace told planners he knows what the comprehensive plan says, and why it says what it says.

Since the Love Shop parcel is located in an urban planning area, Lovelace pointed out the comprehensive plan in no way implies or states that urban areas should have some kind of prohibition or discouragement for having AFDs within them.

“What better place to have an agricultural forestal district than in an area that might be growing,” Lovelace said, adding, AFDs provide diversity within that district.

Lovelace said he felt a need to note this since none of the other applications is in urban planning areas.

However, he concluded his remarks pointing out that fact does not imply anything negative to the Love Shop application.

Easley, owner of the 462-acre Birch Creek tract, told planners he considers this program “a fine thing the commission is considering for the struggling young people.”

A retired military pilot, Easley said he has one daughter who married a farmer “who has done a fine job.”

He concluded his remarks, thanking the planning commission for what they are doing for citizens through the AFD program.

No one voiced opposition to any of the 20 AFD applications which include the following:

• West Branch, 847.52 acres
• Liberty, 713.46 acres
• Wildflower, 380 acres
• Maverick, 384.18 acres
• Whitesville, 574.51 acres
• Springwood, 1,404.57 acres
• Long Branch, 673.11 acres
• Difficult Range, 386.82 acres
• Hodges Land and Timber, 1197.64 acres
• East Alton, 1,133.96 acres
• Chappell’s Bottom, 514.04 acres
• Younger Farms, 626.88 acres
• Banister, 362.22 acres
• Staunton Meadows, 413.89 acres
• Jones Ferry, 372.71 acres with following contingency: removal of PRN #28373
• Birch Creek/Edmunds, 3,092.09 acres
• Birch Creek/Easley, 462.41 acres
• Love Shop, 847.93 acres
• Pole Cat Creek, 312.50 acres
• Anderson, 254.28 acres

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors will hold hearings on these applications on Monday, April 5, after receiving the recommendation from the planning commission.

In other business Tuesday night, planners held a public hearing on a conditional use permit for an RV campground in ED-7.

Speaking in favor of the permit were applicant H. Reed Edwards, who along with his wife, Leigh, are seeking to locate an RV campground with three additional camper hookups on the north side of Ramble Road (State Route 730) at 3132 Ramble Road in Virgilina.

Also Tuesday night, planners set a public hearing date for their April meeting on a conditional use permit application from Lemuel Anthony Powell of Powell’s Guns and Ammo to locate a gun and ammunition retail store in ED#6 at the end of State Route 686 at 3102 Mercy Seat Road in Sutherlin.

Powell currently operates the business out of his home and is looking to move the business into an adjacent 14 x 32 ft. building.

According to Love, the move outside the home will allow the gun shop to be a small neighborhood business that would serve the neighborhood and surrounding communities’ needs.