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Dominion's Alternate Pipeline Path Stalls Development of Nelson County Resort

Posted: Updated: Apr 20, 2015 01:18 AM
A Nelson Co. bed and breakfast. (Still under development) A Nelson Co. bed and breakfast. (Still under development)
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

William Fenton, an architect in Nelson County, is building a unique bed and breakfast in the Blue Ridge Mountains to resemble a German village.

Now, he says a planned natural gas pipeline threatens to end his business before it ever gets started. "All my time, all my efforts, and everything we've had and more is in this, so this is our, this is our dream." 

Fenton strolls through the grand complex he's building with his wife in the woods near Wintergreen Resort, but when he looks to the horizon, he says he sees a construction nightmare.   

"There'll be the cut through the mountain there. They would have work trailers. They would have tractor trailers. They would have to run continuous lines of dump trucks," he said. 

Fenton's talking about an alternate route proposed for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion released new maps more than a month ago. Fenton says he just learned that route would go through his property.

"We actually got notified three days ago, which is long after the FERC meetings and everything else that we were supposed to be notified about. They said it was a clerical error," he said. 

Now, Fenton fears all those tourists he hoped will support his business might not come. "Six million people a year visit the Virginia side of the Blue Ridge Parkway, so that's more than the Grand Canyon," says Fenton.

Fenton says that from the Raven's Roost Lookout Point in Nelson County you'll be able to see the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's route for 180 degrees as it runs parallel to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  He is also concerned because his property doesn't show up on the Dominion maps he received at a recent public meeting. 

He plans to let them know he's there and doesn't approve of the project's path.

"When you have a dream you have to, you have to be all in. So we are committed and if this is something that we have to fight, then this is something that we will fight to keep our business,” says Fenton.

Dominion representatives say they will be meeting with Fenton later this month. A spokesman says the company is planning to implement noise abatement measures anywhere a business might be affected by pipeline construction and crews will keep all roadways to those businesses open.

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