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Developers want to revive former Camp Staunton Meadows

Halifax County Supervisors are slated to decide whether to permit Summerfield Realty Group, LLC to operate a youth and adult camp on Mount Laurel Road in Clover when they meet tonight at 6:30 in the Mary Bethune office complex in Halifax.

A public hearing on a conditional use permit will be held prior to the board rendering its decision.

Last Tuesday evening the Halifax County Planning Commission unanimously recommended Summerfield’s land use application for the adult and youth camp be approved with the contingency that the applicant make an effort to meet with neighboring landowners to discuss the proposed facility, according to Planning and Zoning Administrator Robbie Love.

Absent from that meeting was Planning Commissioner Mattie Cowan.

Harvey C. Siegel, manager member of Summerfield Realty Group, LLC said the residential youth and adult camp would be located on 413 acres located at 8150 Mount Laurel Road in Clover, about eight-tenths of a mile south of the intersection with State Route 616.

Summerfield has entered into a contract to purchase the property formerly operated as Camp Staunton Meadows that ceased operations in 2007.

Summerfield intends to restore the property to again become a fully functional residential camp, utilizing the previously installed infrastructure and buildings.

The camp also expects to improve the facilities use with the construction of six additional cabins, Siegel said.

“The new camp will provide essentially the same summer camp activities as previously engaged in but with the addition of specific math, science, technology and engineering instruction. These education components are in addition to the camping activities and motorsport education and instruction,” Siegel said.

The existing go kart track and three additional ones will be fenced in near a kart staging building that will include an observation station, a classroom area, changing rooms and bathrooms as well as storage for go karts.

Siegel explained the go karts are armed with a shut down system that allows the safety observer to shut all karts down with a push of one button.

“The facility is not intended to be opened to the public as VIR does,” Siegel said. “However, our intention would be to host private catered and team building events for civic, corporate, church and other groups as it has traditionally done in the past.”

Matthew and Nancy Leonard, who also live on Mount Laurel Road, voiced concerns to planning commission members about noise the facility may make that would negatively impact neighboring landowners.

“The proposal is a major and disruptive change which will have far reaching implications in our community,” Nancy Leonard said.

Her husband told commissioners he is not necessarily for or against the facility and would appreciate meeting with Siegel to discuss concerns.

According to Siegel, the Leonards “have virtually a 50-60 acre wooded lot between their home and the camp.

The Leonards were scheduled to meet with Siegel on Sunday prior to tonight’s meeting to discuss their concerns.

Also during tonight’s meeting, another public hearing is slated on discontinuing 413.89 acres of Staunton Meadows property in the county’s Agricultural and Forestal District program. The property, currently owned by Staunton River Corporation, John I. Crews Jr. and Corbin Crews, has been included in the program since receiving approval in April 2010.

Supervisors also have slated a public hearing tonight on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s $587,194 Six Year Improvement Plan.

Included in the plan are improving 1.1 miles of new roadway to current standards on Meadsville Road (State Route 642) and bridge replacement on Wolf Trap Road (State Route 716.)

In other business tonight, supervisors are expected to take the following actions:

w Hear a monthly status report from Kenneth Martin of the Virginia Department of Transportation;

w Hear Williams Natural Gas Distribution report on a proposed natural gas pipeline from Chatham to Brunswick County to fuel a New Dominion Virginia Power plant;

w Listen to Danville Community College President Carlyle Ramsey discuss two initiatives that will impact the county including a partnership in advanced manufacturing with Danville Community College, Southside Virginia Community College, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Halifax County Schools and local employers and a plan to expand the Regional Center for Advanced Technology and training; neither initiative will require county funding.

w Authorize County Administrator George Nester to prepare and advertise a central purchasing ordinance that will develop a plan to implement a central purchasing office including the powers and duties of the new office and creation of actual purchasing policies for the county;

According to Nester, the start up and training period will take about two months with the effective date of the ordinance and purchasing regulations set for July 1.

w Authorize the county administrator to draft the Halifax County Solid Waste Disposal Authority’s articles of incorporation and an enabling resolution that will allow the county to collect solid waste disposal fees estimated to generate $500,000 annually to offset part of the $1,300,000 the county pays for waste disposal;

w Decide whether to opt out of the Virginia Retirement System for the Virginia Line of Duty Act payment and instead use the Virginia Municipal League Insurance Program to cover its first responders under the Line of Duty Act;

w Adopt a resolution authorizing a contract with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for the Pine Height neighborhood revitalization program;

w Hear a financial report update from Finance Director Stephanie Jackson;

w Approve the $87,576,313 2012-13 annual budget and adopt a resolution making annual appropriations for the budget;

w Supervisors also are scheduled to make appointments to the Board of Zoning Appeals, Halifax County Improvement Council, Southside Regional Group Home, Transportation Safety Commission, Southside Virginia Community College, Halifax County Service Authority, Library Board, Social Services Board and Workforce Investment Board.

At the conclusion of tonight’s meeting, supervisors are expected to go behind closed doors in an executive session to discuss specific personnel matters; the acquisition or disposition of property; the protection of the privacy of individuals in personal matters not related to public business; a prospective business or industry or expansion of an existing business; consult with legal council and discuss award of a public contract involving public funds.

Camp Motorsport looking to move to new Clover facility