Town Approves Rental of Smithy Cottage

Smithy Cottage sits adjacent to the Barns of Rose Hill. Photo credit Mike Dowling

After six months of operation the Barns of Rose Hill has determined that it needs more space for administrative duties and they have identified the perfect space to lease for that use. The organization is now asking the town to rent them the Smithy Cottage that sits adjacent to their facility. Last night at their January Council meeting, the Town of Berryville held a public hearing and addressed the request.

The property in question was originally part of of the farm that included the Barns of Rose Hill and was part of the same donation to the Town. The building has not had a tenant since the end of 2010. The last time it was rented the tenant paid $800 a month. The tenant prior to that paid $500 a month. The Barns approached the Town with funds from a local citizen who has pledged $6000 for the first year’s rent of the additional facility. The Town considered the lowered monthly rate of $500 a month because under the proposed agreement,  the rent would be paid in full at the beginning of the lease.

Town Manager, Keith Dalton explained that the lease would also include language that will provide for three one year options to extend the lease which would include a 5% increase in rent each year. The Town would also have to approve any alterations to the building and will require the lessee pay for any work required by the Building Official in order to use the structure as an office.

Stan Kerns spoke on behalf of the Barns and explained that the need had become apparent as the staff of the Barns started working events. The area they used for administrative purposes is small and in the traffic flow and had proven to be unsuitable.

No one spoke during the public hearing and there were no questions from the Council. The motion to enter into a lease agreement with the Barns for the lease of 36 Smithy Lane passed unanimously.

The lease is scheduled to begin on February 1st.

In other Town Council news:

A second public hearing was held on proposed easements required to extend Mosby Boulevard to Main Street. Water, electric and communication lines will need to be moved and the work required adjustment to existing easements. There were no speakers at the public hearing and the motion passed unanimously.

Scope changes at the new sewage treatment plant have caused a change order and the Council reviewed the document. The initial estimate of $325,000 was negotiated down to $134,621.20  and still keeps the project within budget. The majority of the cost was associated with the requirement for a new effluent pump station to be included after the existing pump station was deemed to be inadequate. The council approved the change order unanimously.

The Town is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Board of Zoning Appeals. This five-member board was established in accordance with the Virginia Code to hear appeals of zoning ordinance determinations, requests for variances, and requests for interpretation of the official zoning map. Members are appointed by the Clarke County Circuit Court for five-year terms and conduct meetings on an as needed basis.

Anyone interested in this position should contact the town offices for more information.



  1. I don’t begrudge the Barns folks from using the house there, as it seems to make sense. My only question is this – why didn’t folks think of this beforehand? Even though there was a tenant until 2010, the Barns didn’t open until 2011; surely someone looking at the plans had to see that the admin area wouldn’t work as effectively as designed. Just pondering out loud…