JCC BOS approves Bruster’s drive-thru, landscaping business

Breaster’s Real Ice Cream gets a thoroughfare. (WYDaily / File Photo)

An ice cream parlor gets a thoroughfare and a local landscaping company is moving into a new home.

The James City County Board of Supervisors (JCC BOS) unanimously approved two requests for special permits at the meeting on Tuesday.

With the first application, Hertzler and George Landscaping, a Williamsburg-based company, can transform the former Lifepointe Christian Church Building, 8251 Richmond Road to a contract office with other site improvements so the company can move to Toano.

RELATED STORY: The JCC Planning Commission approves a special permit for the landscaping company in Williamsburg

The second application will allow Brusters Real Ice Cream, an ice cream franchise located on John Tyler Highway 5289, to add a thoroughfare to its property.

RELATED STORY: The Williamsburg Crossing Bruster ice cream parlor could soon have a drive through

While both agenda items were unanimously adopted by the BOS, some members pointed out possible problems with the proposals during the public comment phase.

Hertzler and George Landscaping

During the public comment period, Berkeley District representative John McGlennon asked if changing the environmental plan would help with drainage problems.

The landscaping company had revised one of the original terms of the application regarding the landscape buffer between the property and its neighbor. While the original state determined that the landscape buffer must be undisturbed, it was revised as the applicant had to carry out work to allow the water on the site to drain properly.

Tom Leininger, chief planner who presented the agenda item to the BOS, was not sure whether the original condition would have caused problems with the water drainage.

Frank Polster, a member of the JCC planning commission, said during the commission’s January 6 meeting that neighbor Dorothy Prowant was concerned about how the company would affect the sewer system, traffic impact, and other operational issues like lighting.

He added the staff and the applicant contacted Prowant after the meeting.

Joe Hertlzer, who owns the landscaping company, explained to the BOS why he had asked for permission for the special permit in the first place.

“We just run out of space where we are,” he said.

Nobody asked Hertzler questions before approving the special permit. BOS chairman Michael Hipple, representative of the Powhatan district, shared his opinion.

“And before we vote on that, I want to say that Joe’s team has worked for me in various locations that I’ve done and that the work he’s done on our website is just immaculate,” Hipple said, adding that the applicant’s team did a wonderful job. “I think he’s going to be an asset to us in James City County and I don’t get all of the vote, but I get a little.”

Bruster’s real ice cream

Ruth Larson, Berkeley District representative, was concerned about how adding a drive-through lane to Bruster’s Real Ice Cream would impact traffic and accidents near the Food Lion.

“The only question I had was that I was concerned about visibility because Bruster is a busy place,” she said, adding that she was a customer and her dogs love the franchise chain’s free sundae.

Larson said she was also concerned about the property next door, an empty building hopefully another company will move into, and wanted the applicant to be informed of the possible congestion.

Polster said during the part of the public session at the January 6th planning committee meeting, “Mr. O’Connor “was also concerned about the thoroughfare and location off Humelsine Parkway – Route 199.

He added that the applicant bought the property in 2020 and found that adding a thoroughfare would increase traffic in the ice cream parlor by 50%.

Caroline West, the complainant, reiterated that she bought the property from Bruster last year, adding that she was a small business owner who also owns Parcel Stop on the Monticello Marketplace.

BOS didn’t ask West any questions before the special use permit was approved.

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