Augusta County Orders Demolition of Auto Repair Garage
An Augusta County business owner has to tear down a large part of his auto repair shop because it violates county code - but he didn't build it, perhaps making this the ultimate case of "buyer beware." The previous owner built it eight years ago.
For the past year and a half, William Little has gone twice before the Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals and taken his case to circuit court - but it's all been in vain.
By the end of this week, the two-bay repair garage that's caused him so much trouble will be torn to the ground. The roof and part of the walls have already been removed from the structure, located on Lee Jackson Highway near Greenville.
Augusta County is requiring the demolition, because the addition is within 50 feet of Virginia Department of Transportation's right of way.
County officials say ordering a site survey when the property changed hands could have saved a lot of expense.
"Some due diligence could have been done early on to see if there were some issues with the property, but in this particular case that due diligence was not done and the property was acquired, which then put the responsibility with the current owner," said Tim Fitzgerald, community development director.
Fitzgerald says Augusta County tries to be business friendly and help property owners stay in compliance, but must also fairly and equally apply the law.
Little says he's spent "thousands" on legal fees and demolition costs. The loss of the garage also means cutting two employees, who would handle repairs for truckers coming from the nearby Pilot Travel Center.
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