Recent Stories

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One of David Konick’s main pitches to voters is that his years of experience as an attorney and in local government make him fit to hold a seat in Rappahannock County’s highest office. It’s the same message he campaigned on in the 1980s when he sought to become the commonwealth’s attorney and wound up losing shortly after voters discovered he lied to authorities about wiping fingerprints off a client’s weapon that was used in a killing.

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Chair of the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors Debbie Donehey signed a letter sent to the head of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) last week requesting the agency reconsider reducing the speed limit on a U.S. Route 211 corridor in Sperryville near an entrance to Shenandoah National Park that’s been home to more than two dozen crashes in recent years.

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The Rappahannock County Planning Commission moved swiftly through five applications for special use permits at its Sept. 15 meeting, deciding to hold public hearings in October on a request to operate a dog kennel and dog training business in Amissville and another to operate a tourist home in Chester Gap.

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To the dismay of local officials, business leaders and residents, a study conducted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) concluded that a high-traffic corridor on State Route 211 in Sperryville near Shenandoah National Park that was the site of nearly 30 recent crashes shouldn’t have its speed limit reduced.

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At the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors August meeting on Monday, the body approved an amendment for a special exception permit from Nick Dowling, owner of Blue Rock Inn, to run an unused home on his property as a tourist residence. This application initially fell before the board in June, receiving opposition from neighbors and some of the board members. In 2006, the previous owners obtained a permit for the home on the condition that it not be used for commercial purposes, and Jackson District Supervisor Ron Frazier had hesitations about overturning the previous board’s decision.

Deciding they needed more information, the members of the Rappahannock County Planning Commission on July 21 tabled a request by Anne and Dennis Williams to amend conditions on the use of their property so they can add a flea market, small live performance theater, and food service at their property at 12625 Lee Highway, Washington. The site currently has a building offering office space, retail, exercise studio and Mountainside Physical Therapy.

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As of last week, Rappahannock has a new ordinance on the books to control utility-scale renewable energy generating facilities, including wind and solar projects, on county land. After a late-night joint session with the Planning Commission on July 7, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to pass the ordinance, with Piedmont Supervisor Christine Smith and Hampton Supervisor Keir Whitson dissenting.

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The Washington Town Council and Town Planning Commission met on Saturday, June 12, to continue discussions about Rush River Commons, the proposed mixed-use development which would transform the 9-acre site of the former Black Kettle Motel into affordable housing units, a home for the Rappahannock Food Pantry and office spaces for local “nonprofits, health providers and service agencies.” 

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Nick Dowling, owner of the Blue Rock Inn on Route 211, withdrew a pending application that was expected to come up for public hearing before the Rappahannock County Planning Commission on Wednesday, June 16. Dowling originally applied for a special exception permit to operate a “conference center or resort” as defined by county code, which would have allowed him to provide temporary lodging, meals, entertainment and recreation to more than 40 guests on the 79.5-acre Blue Rock property.

At their monthly meeting Monday, members of the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors unanimously declined, at least for now, to thwart the intentions of their predecessors — who, in 2006, allowed the then-owner of the Blue Rock Inn property to build a three-bedroom residence there on the condition that it would never be used for commercial purposes.

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Tonight

Some clouds this evening will give way to mainly clear skies overnight. Low 27F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.

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