Plan hearing set for February

Published 4:19 pm Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the county’s Comprehensive Plan during its February meeting. Supervisors chose to do so during their December meeting Tuesday afternoon. The board has not yet set dates for its 2017 meetings, but normally meets on the second Tuesday of each month. If the board sticks to that schedule, the February meeting would be at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 14.

County Planner Monica Elder said the planning commission reviews the plan every five years. The county’s land use map, Elder said, was last updated 10 years ago.

“We’re going to change the location of growth areas,” Elder said. “We’re going to be more focused along the highways.”

Elder said the current map shows a broader growth area.

“But because of slow growth, we’ve decided to look primarily along Route 360. It could be residential growth or commercial growth,” she said.

Also Tuesday, supervisors learned Mid-Atlantic Broadband Corp. (MBC) is offering to donate four 190-foot self-supporting communication towers to help the county build out its wireless emergency communications system.

In a letter to Elder, MBC said it acquired the towers through a grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission several years ago.

“We’re glad to support your need for additional communication towers, and believe this offer will save the county quite a bit of money,” MBC officials wrote.

The towers are currently being stored in a Martinsville warehouse, valued at $52,500 each for a total value of $210,000. The company is proposing to erect the towers on Kings Highway in Saxe, Patrick Henry Highway in Brookneal, Heartland Road in Keysville and Red House Road in Red House. The total cost to lay foundations and erect the towers is estimated at $550,085.

County Administrator R.B. Clark said supervisors voted to accept the gift, but moved forward with a request for proposals, or RFP, to determine exactly what would happen next.

Supervisors also tabled an ordinance that would establish a fence law and prohibit the running at large of livestock.

“The chairman determined they couldn’t implement it until after the first of the year, so they tabled it until after their organizational meeting,” Clark said.

He said such organizational meetings are usually held on the first business day of the year, but was not sure if the meeting would be held Jan. 2. That meeting will be used to elect or re-elect a chairman and set the board’s meeting schedule for the new year. Supervisors will also use the meeting to set their regular meeting schedule.

If eventually passed, the ordinance would make it unlawful for the owner or manager of any livestock to permit such animals to run at large beyond the limits of his or her own land. This includes cattle, horses, mules, goats, sheep, swine, donkeys, alpacas, llama or “any other four-legged hooved animal.”

Violating the ordinance would be a Class 4 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $250.

Additionally, the owner or manager would be liable for any actual damages inflicted by the loose livestock. Punitive damages also cannot exceed $250; however, “for every successive trespass, the owner or manager … shall be liable for double damages, both actual and punitive.”

In other business, the board heard an audit report from Robinson, Farmer, Cox; heard an update on the courthouse; learned the Charlotte County Education Foundation is being reinstated; and considered invoices and coyote claims for payment.