Front Royal Must reconsider Cool Harbor ROW Infringement ‘Vacation’
18 February 2017 News
The Front Royal Town Council will have to revisit its 3-2 approval this week of the permanent “vacation” of a 675-square-foot Right of Way encroachment on 15th Street to the Cool Harbor Motel.
On Friday, Town Attorney Doug Napier said he has interpreted a section of the Virginia Constitution as requiring that, not only a public right-of-way SALE, but also a VACATING of municipal property as requiring a “super-majority” three-quarters vote – in this case 5 of Council’s 6 members.
Cool Harbor owner “Mark” Patel requested the property be legally transferred to him to facilitate a 20-year Small Business Administration loan to make necessary improvements to acquire a Motel 6 franchise.
No information was initially available on rescheduling a vote. But whenever the debate is re-engaged, the 5-vote approval requirement is sure to play into a perhaps different outcome.
For while no one seemed opposed to facilitating the new owner’s loan, Councilmen Gene Tewalt and Bill Sealock appeared adamant that an option that would some day return the property to the Town was preferable.