Sunday, June 16, 2024

Garrett’s Oyster Application to Go Before Planners Wednesday

York Hall
York Hall

The York County Planning Commission will again consider a proposal from Dandy resident Greg Garrett to use the property where his home is situated as part of his oyster farm at a Wednesday meeting.

Garrett went before the planners in June, however he made a last-minute request to continue the considerations and the public hearing connected to the request to July. He said he wanted the delay to mitigate some issues that included sound levels of equipment, the potential construction of a fence and more.

The commission honored his request, however they allowed several people who came to speak a chance to share their thoughts before continuing the request.

The commissioners will consider Wednesday whether Garrett should be able to use his property in such a manner. Many of the speakers who appeared in June opposed Garrett’s application to have non-resident employees offload seafood at a pair of docks on the property of his waterfront home on the York River.

“The one thing I can’t condone is someone trying to run a commercial business from a residence,” said Dennis Dietrich, another resident of Dandy Loop. “I do have a big problem with him trying to run a commercial business from his home.”

In June, Garrett invited each of the commissioners to come see his oyster operation in action. He also provided each of them a binder containing all the correspondence York County Planner Tim Cross had received about the application up until June 12. Cross evaluated the application for the York County Planning Division, noting the property is “well-suited” to oyster farming.

Garrett has been fighting with the county for years to use his property as part of the oyster farm. He began growing oysters in 2009. After filing an application he withdrew before it reached the Board of Supervisors, he initiated a court case arguing a special-use permit was not necessary for him to use the property as part of the farm.

That case went to the Supreme Court of Virginia, which sided with York County against Garrett and Seaford oyster farmer Anthony Bavuso. Because the court sided with York County, Garrett is now seeking a special-use permit.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the commissioners will first hear any public comments about the application before their discussion. Anyone who spoke at the June public hearing may speak again at Wednesday’s hearing.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at York Hall.

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