Planning Forwards Recommendations on Cabinet Shop, Blight, and Yard Sales

The Berryville Planning Commission convened Tuesday night to address a handful of issues including a new business, a demolition and clarifying yard sale regulations.

Two public hearings were scheduled for the evening that related to a business that is seeking to relocate withing the Town of Berryville. A cabinet maker is looking to open up shop in a building at 612 East Main Street and the move requires a text amendment to allow that type of business in that location. No one spoke at either of the public hearings but the owner of the property, Jay Hillerson, did attend and fielded some questions from the board concerning the business. An established cabinet shop, the business is moving to the area from Thurmont MD and will provide high-end custom work. The board asked if there would be any anticipated noise from the operation or wood chips and Hillerson said there would be none as all of the businesses work would be performed indoors. The board moved to forward a recommendation to the Town Council to approve the the applicants special use permit with a provision to limit the operating hours of the business to 7:00AM – 8:00PM.

Blight abatement was also on the agenda as the town continues to review and monitor several properties that have been identified as blighted. A property on Liberty Street has been demolished and is in the final stages of site clean-up. A property at 23 Josephine Street which was given a three month reprieve to develop an abatement plan, is headed back to a public hearing as the owner has once again failed to respond to the town. Town Planner Christy Dunkle said, “Staff has written two letters and received no response.” The third property which is on First Street is days away from demolition. The owner of that property, Scott Mercer,  was on hand at the meeting and told the commission that he had hired two separate contractors to handle the demolition and both had failed to complete the task. One started the project and left, the other never showed. As a result Mr Mercer said ” I’m going to take care of it myself.” Mercer indicated that he thought the work would be completed by the next planning commission meeting so no action was taken on the matter.

Also on the agenda, in response to a concern raised by member Gwen Malone at last months meeting, the commission examined the town’s code on yard sales. At issue was the ability of residents to file unlimited permits for yard sales creating what could become a permanent sale in some locations. The current code allows for residents to hold three yard sales before paying for a permit but there is no limit to the number of sales. After some discussion the commission adopted several recommendations to pass on  to the Town Council for amending the current code. These included:

  • Limiting the number of yard/garage sales to four per year
  • Sales could last no more than  3 consecutive day
  • All signs must be removed within 24 hours of the end of the sale
  • All merchandise must be removed within 24 hours of the end of the sale