The Nottinghams are a young couple who didn’t leave the Shore but stayed to raise a family and start a business. Anyone who has ever borrowed money and started a business knows that you may have to adjust your business plan. They realized that when you sell a bag of clams the customer may also want to also buy Old Bay to season it. Current zoning, without a special use permit, sends the customer to Food Lion for that.
When I visited the Nottingham business on numerous occasions, I saw local license plates as well as license plates from NJ, NY, PA & DE. But, the Nottingham could not sell Blue Crab Bay Products, an Eastern Shore success story, sold everywhere else. I noticed artwork from local arts for sale with their cards and studio information, but the Nottinghams cannot sell them without a SUP.
The Nottinghams were grading and selling their own clams and were buying seafood from local watermen along with produce from their own and local farms, but could only sell their own products without a SUP.
Eventually, the Nottinghams hope to open a small sandwich shop as a further offering to their customers. They know they must comply with VDOT and VA Department of Health requirements if they do so.
Over a period of only a few months the Nottinghams have collected over 100 signatures of local and transit customers asking to “save our store”. They are enclosed in each Board member’s packet.
As Ms. Benson and the Planning Commission noted, these restrictions will be lifted in the Revised Zoning Ordinance in the coming months. If not, I will not support it.
Our Comp Plan promotes Agriculture and Aquaculture, the uniqueness of the Eastern Shore and encourages job creating, tax paying, small businesses. How can we not approve the Nottingham’s SUP, allowing them the full rights to be granted under the Zoning Ordinance revision, as a step towards showing them and the public that this Board really does “get it” when it comes to business and economic development? It’s more than being just business friendly, it is the kind of community we want and the public is ahead of us.
Mr. Chairman, I ask that these remarks be included in the record and I move for approval of the Special Use Permit as applied for with the following conditions:
1. SUP is non-transferable
2. SUP is valid for two years and subject to compliance review
3. The Nottingham will be allowed all rights and privileges under the upcoming revised zoning ordinance.
/s/ H. Spencer Murray
Supervisor, District 4
Upon clarification by Mr. Tankard that condition #3 above was a “footnote” rather than a