An artist's rendering of what our dome will look like.
It will actually be on a different spot now (see pink zone on grading
plan), but it has trees there, so won't make for a good photo.
(Well, really my rendering, but I am an artist.)
8 April, 2003
The good news: we got a hearing date!
The bad news: It's 9 July.
The worse news: Just kidding, that's the planning commission hearing.
Your hearing before the Board is 21 July.
The insane news: That makes six months on an expedited SE. Oh
wait, they don't count the two months they futzed around. Make that four.
Did you see Mystery
Men? I'm Mr. Furious right now.
28 March, 2003
Good news! Our SE was accepted.
It has not been assigned yet to a staff coordinator nor hearing date, but has
been sent to planning commission who will do so.
one more step!!
26 March, 2003
So we're "moving forward", but it was a long way in
6 February 2003 - Submitted Special Exception.
7 March 2003 - called Department of Zoning and Evaluation (DZE) to ask if the
packet had been given a number yet. The lady who answered looked it up and said
that it had not finished being reviewed, but that all the pieces were there.
(i.e. checklist complete) I mentioned it had been a month since submission and
that I was told it was only a month-long review process. The lady said that
it normally was. I asked if she thought it was due to the snow. She said that
she would like to say that that wouldn't make a difference, but it probably
did. She suggested I call back in a week.
12 March 2003- called DZE. The SE had still not been given a number - no other
17 March 2003 - called DZE. Woman on the phone said it was listed as "deficient."
She said we should have gotten a letter from the County - I told her we had
thus far gotten no letter. I mentioned that the month review period was more
than passed, and it had not been listed as deficient only a week earlier. The
woman suggested I speak with Yet Another County Official. I was put
through to his voicemail and left a message.
18 March 2003 - Yet Another County Official returned my call - I was
not at my desk - he left me a message. I returned his call, and we spoke. He
asked if we had received a letter from the county regarding the deficiency and
seemed surprised we had not. He mentioned that the SE was deficient for two
reasons. The first, that the tax map had a different acreage than our SE. (15.5
vs. 16.7) I mentioned that the tax map had been known to be in error, and we
had addressed this problem. The second issue he mentioned was that this SE required
a variance due to article 2-414.4 of the Zoning Ordinance. I told him that we
had already addressed the issue of the variance in our statement of justification.
He said it sounded like we had done our homework and that he would be in touch
with his superiors. He said the determination must be done by the Zoning Director.
He said he would call me back either at work or at home that evening when he
had more news.
19 March 2003 - Having not heard back from Yet Another County Official,
I called him. He mentioned that he had no news for me, but that he was certainly
working on it. I told him that we just wanted to do whatever we could to make
the process smooth, and asked that he call me if they needed any additional
information or help. He said he would, and gave no indication of there being
any items the County required from us.
- Feeling like the County might be able to stall and stall without giving our
SE a number, I called Supervisor's Aid in County Supervisor's office. I summarized
my conversation with Mr. Yet Another County Official, and asked her
if they could indeed stall indefinitely. She said they couldn't. She then added,
however, that County Official 3 had called DZE to follow-up on the SE since
it had been longer than the month review. He was told by County Official 4 that
she was waiting to hear back from "Our Nextdoor Neighbor" on some
issue. I told County Supervisor's Aid that I was not aware that the DZE had
tried to contact any of us for any reason, and that Yet Another County Official
had certainly not led me to believe that they needed to contact us for anything.
I told County Supervisor's Aid that I would see if "Our Nextdoor Neighbor"
had been out of town.
- I called "Our Nextdoor Neighbor" and he said that no one had tried
to get a hold of him. I gave him the DZE phone number, and told him apparently
County Official 4 was trying to get a hold of him for some reason. "Our
Nextdoor Neighbor" mentioned that he found that strange, considering he
signed me as his agent in this matter. He also didn't recall his contact information
being on the SE. I agreed.
- I called County Supervisor's Aid back and told her that "Our Nextdoor
Neighbor" had not heard from anyone. I also mentioned to her that I was
the agent. She agreed that that was odd, and told me she would let me know if
she had more news.
20 March 2003 - "Our Nextdoor Neighbor" called County Official 4 and
left a message indicating that he had heard she needed to get a hold of him,
and to please give him a call back.
21 March 2003 - I called Yet Another County Official. He said he had no news
for me yet, and that our SE was now in the hands of his supervisor, Ms. Ruffner,
and Mr. Langdon. He said that they had found the section in the statement of
justification that referred to the variance for "Our Nextdoor Neighbor"'s
driveway. I told him that I had heard someone had tried to contact my neighbor,
"Our Nextdoor Neighbor", and I was wondering if it was normal procedure
not to inform the agent of such a thing. He assured me that he was not aware
of anyone trying to contact anyone, and that if they were, I would be the only
person they would contact. He said even if they needed to contact the engineer,
they would advise me that they were doing so. I thanked him, and wished him
a nice weekend.
25 March 2003 - "Our Nextdoor Neighbor" let me know that as of today,
County Official 4 never returned his phone message.
- I called County Supervisor's Aid to let her know that Yet Another County Official
indicated that they did not need to hear from us, and the County Official 4
never returned his call. She is going to speak to County Official 3 about it
today and let me know.
26 March 2003 - I received a voice mail from County Official 4. She said County
Official 3 told her we had some questions on our application. She checked with
Virginia today and she said we were in pretty good shape. Everything is ready
to be accepted at this point, it should be accepted today or tomorrow at the
latest. She said we should be processed accordingly. She asked me to call her
back if I had any particular questions.
- "Our Nextdoor Neighbor" also received an voice message from County
Official 4. She apologized for the delay getting back to him; she wanted to
look over the SE to see if anything was needed. She said it looks like we have
everything they need to proceed; the SE will probably be accepted today or tomorrow
- and given a case #. She said, as far as the variance he would need because
of the proximity to the railroad, that would just be stated as a condition of
the SE (i.e. I would request a variance before the Board of Zoning Appeals at
the time I'm ready to apply for my house to be built on a specific location).
- I called County Supervisor's Aid to thank her for her help and support. She
was happy to know that things were moving along. She told me that we should
be getting a planning commission number, and a date when it will go before the
- I also called Yet Another County Official to thank him for his help on our
Done and done! Oh, what's that? No problem with the acreage? Nothing
about the variance? That's what I thought. Am I having a home brew this evening?
You bet I am. (By the way, this text was provided by Jeano, my astute and persistent
6 February, 2003
Jean took the day off today and spent the ENTIRE day going from
one place to another getting the proper signatures, photographs developed, documents
notarized, etc., so we could submit the Special Exception today. She got it
in just under the wire, at 4pm today. They close at 4. Whew!
If there are any problems, we'll hear from them within a few days,
otherwise it will take four weeks or so for everyone involved to review it.
We'll probably get a hearing date in front of the board for Juneish.
15 January, 2003
We've been published! Check