Taylorstown Community Association (TCA)
Board Meeting of December 9, 2009
The Taylorstown General Store will reopen this spring under new management.
The new owners welcome suggestions for what to sell in the store. Categories include groceries, general merchandise, and local crafts. Please contact TCA President, Tami Carlow with your requests, which will be passed on.
Over time, there are plans to open a bakery and deli/coffee shop as part of the store and a winery and a restaurant/tavern on the property behind the store. Townspeople are invited to call or email Tami with concerns, ideas, and questions. She will relay them to new owners, Tedd and Dana Durden.
Email: TCarlow@aol.com Phone: 540-822-5939
Board Attendees: Tami Carlow, President; Tara Lindhardt, Vice-President; Karen Hendershot, Treasurer; Lauranne Oliveau, Secretary; Shirley Langston, Anne Larson, David Weintraub, Tom Stewart, and Dave Wiseman, Members at Large.
Unable to attend: Patrick Ryan, Steve Cavallo
Community Attendees: Joan Linhardt
Special Attendees: Tedd and Dana Durden, new owners of Taylorstown Store
I. The Taylorstown Store Plans
Local Taylorstown residents, Dana and Tedd Durden of Furnace Mountain Estates have purchased the store, frame shop building, barn and the 25-acre parcel on which they sit. The Durdens have three children who are now 5, 9, and 11 years old. Tedd spoke with us about their plans for the property and presented site plans and elevations.
In general, Taylorstowners will see a lot going on around the store property over the next few years.
First. The Durdens plan to open the general store this spring. Shirley Langston and Tami Carlow are consulting with Dana Durden to decide what to offer for sale and store operations in general for synergy with the community. For groceries, special emphasis will be on fresh, local dairy and produce, along with “stuff you need in a hurry.” A “Crafters’ Corner” is planned, where local crafters can rent space to sell their wares.
Townspeople are invited to call or write Tami with ideas and requests. She will pass them on to Dana and Shirley. (TCarlow@aol.com 540-822-5939 )
Renovations to the store and frame shop building are planned, which will be underway both before and after the store’s initial opening. In time, a deli and bakery will open as part of a new addition to the store, with tables and seating added in what is now the frame shop – accessible by a connector to be built between the two buildings. Eventually, the frame shop will become a coffee shop. Yes, there will be a public bathroom! There will also be high-speed Internet access! When these plans come to fruition, the Taylorstown community will have a nearby place for neighbors to shop, eat, drink coffee and meet up.
Renovations and additions to the store are expected to be completed in six months to one year. In Tedd’s estimation, as a commercial operation, the store will be lucky to break even.
Second. A two-story winery is planned on the other side of the hill behind the store to include both processing facilities and a tasting room. The winery will have a separate well and septic system. Seven acres will be planted in grapes this spring, with Ben Renshaw (of Furnace Mountain Vineyards and 8 Chains North Winery) working as the wine consultant. The plan is to build in the capacity to process more grapes than will be grown on site – thus creating an opportunity for local grape growers to make wine here in Taylorstown. Current thinking includes producing Merlot, Chardonnay and Chambourcin wines, along with perhaps a Honey-Chardonnay.
During this stage, the old barn will be winterized, a pond will be added, and the old spring house will be renovated. A gravel (read, permeable – no runoff problems) parking lot will be built to accommodate winery guests. The winery will participate in Loudoun wine tours, bringing weekend traffic. As a commercial venture, Tedd expects the winery will be a money maker.
Third. In a few years, construction will begin for a restaurant and tavern, which will incorporate the original barn structure and an addition. The plan is to have seating for about 50 people in the restaurant. Hearty fare (including Tedd’s favorite: steak and potatoes!) will be served in a family-friendly atmosphere. Additional parking will be built to accommodate restaurant guests.
In General. As these commercial establishments open their doors, the Durdans intend to employ local folks, including teens. All planned renovations and additions will be done by right, with no zoning exceptions needed. Currently, all the plans are going through historic review to receive a Certificate of Appropriateness, or CAPP, from the Historical Design and Review Committee. [Note: The CAPP was received Monday, December 14, 2009.]
Before the store opens, a building permit will be obtained, heating and ventilation (HVAC) installed, water and sewer installed, all that approved by inspectors, and an occupancy permit received. The project is on track to accomplish this.
Discussion of Concerns. Those present were asked what concerns or objections they had themselves and what, if any, they had heard around town. Most did not voice concerns or objections and hadn’t heard any. Traffic was identified as an obvious concern. Tara pointed out that traffic coming to the store, winery, or restaurant would be “destination traffic.” As such, it would be slowing down to arrive rather than speeding through town as now happens. As a result, the rest of the traffic on Taylorstown Road would probably slow down in the area of the store.
There was a question about whether a possible roadway and the parking lots would be paved. Tedd said no, they’d be gravel. This was appreciated, as gravel is permeable and creates less runoff and drainage problems. There was a request that the ugly “cheating locust” tree that threatens to fall on the store be removed. It has a bronze plaque
stating that it is one of the biggest in the County. But it has always had a cherry tree pushing it out from the inside – so it’s not healthy. Furthermore, that area will need to be used for parking and a new entrance on the side to the store. We of TCA want it and the cherry taken down as it is dangerous and we need the parking. All present were in agreement. Tedd said okay; he’d look into it.
Tedd talked about further plans to plant trees. There was a suggestion to plant riparian buffer trees along the creek. Tedd was amenable to this, saying he had no plans to develop the acreage near the creek and welcomes suggestions of what to plant.
One board member was concerned that the traffic associated with the expanded Store, the tavern, and winery may adversely affect the quality of life in Taylorstown.
Another member said there was a rumor that a sports bar would be coming in and was not welcome. Tedd said he has no intention of making a sports bar. Another member said that was too bad; a sports bar would be a good thing.
Big Community Meeting. Townspeople will be invited to voice their concerns, opinions, questions, and ideas about these plans at the Annual Taylorstown meeting. That meeting is tentatively set for March 3, 2010 and will be held in the basement of Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church.
Meanwhile, Townspeople are invited to call or email Tami Carlow with concerns, ideas, and questions. (TCarlow@aol.com 540-822-5939 ) She will relay them to Tedd and Dana.
II. TCA & Non-profit Status
Dave Wiseman said the organization that formerly owned the store has a 501(c)3 non-profit legal structure that can be assumed by the TCA, if it so chooses.
There would be no legal fees involved and the former officers would resign. The name would need to be changed to Taylorstown Community Association. The TCA board needs to review the organizing documents of the non-profit to make sure they are aligned with our purposes.
Benefits would include:
· Donations would be tax deductible, increasing the likelihood that TCA would receive donations and become less cash-strapped.
· TCA could apply for grants for civic purposes
Decision: The Board voted unanimously to pursue this idea.
III. 2010 Taylorstown Calendar
Ann Larson noted that she had created the 2010 Taylorstown Calendar with some technical help from Richard Weaver and Karen Hendershot. Due to the high quality of the photographs submitted, it turned out to be very expensive to print, at a cost of $15.50 each for a total of $465. This has not yet been reimbursed.
At a price of $10 each, 10 calendars sold at the Holiday Crafts Fair. It was decided to try to sell the rest at the Game Club’s holiday sale the following weekend. Some present at the meeting bought a few.
If you would like one of these beautiful calendars, you will find them in the green box outside the frame shop (next to the store); help yourself and leave a check for $10 (or more if you can afford to donate!) made out to TCA. Also, as the shop is being cleaned out for renovations, freebies are being left on the front porch. Help yourself.
Questions: Annelarson2006@gmail.com (540)822-5249