A live-in training facility for veterans and service dogs in Caroline County has passed the one-year inspection required by the county as part of its special-exception permit.

Leashes of Valor on Sparta Road is now in compliance with the permit requirements following the one-year site visit by building official Kevin Wightman, the Caroline Board of Supervisors was told at its meeting Tuesday night.

Leashes of Valor had been given 90 days to address violations found during a tour of the property earlier this year. Director of Planning and Community Development Mike Finchum said he and department staff toured the property March 6 and found two violations of the special exception permit: A meeting room and a shed approved for training had occasionally been used to house veterans overnight.

The staff also noticed a new 300-square-foot structure on the property that Leashes of Valor owner Jason Haag said will be used as a kennel. Finchum said that violated the special-exception permit because a site plan was not submitted and the correct permit was not obtained.

Haag submitted the site plan based on existing conditions, which allows training one service dog team at a time on site. Additionally, a permit for a change in occupancy to convert the training room for residential occupancy for one veteran will be issued with the approved site plan.

In other business, supervisors were told that construction of a rock memorial honoring emergency medical service providers and law enforcement officers has been delayed after some disagreement over who the structure will memorialize.

County resident Kara Taylor came up with the idea for a EMS/Law Enforcement Memorial earlier this year after the untimely death of 24-year-old Justin Howard, who volunteered for 10 years with Caroline County Volunteer Fire and Rescue. She wanted a memorial to honor county residents who served as EMS providers or law enforcement officers.

Supervisors previously approved the $25,520 cost of the memorial, which will be built on county property in front of the Community Services Center. Supervisors also agreed to allow the public to buy brick pavers—for $100 apiece—that would recognize long-time volunteers and former staff.

At Tuesday’s meeting, County Sheriff Tony Lippa voiced concerns about the criteria of brick recognition and purchase. He told the board that his office will not participate in the project unless it is a memorial only for those who have died in the line of service.

“Do not use the sheriff’s logo on the memorial,” he said. “You can have a memorial just for the county’s EMS/fire and rescue.”

Supervisor Nancy Long responded, “That’s fine, it’s the county’s memorial and you can’t tell someone’s mother that they can’t order a brick. This is a way to thank those who have served countless hours of service.”

Long said there should be criteria for the purchase of the bricks, such as volunteer hours, years of service and good standing with the county departments. Supervisors Jeff Black and Reggie Underwood agreed with Long that the project should move forward without the sheriff’s involvement.

Leashes of Valor passed the one-year site visit that the Board required as part of the special exception permit to operate a commercial kennel to train service dogs on their property in Sparta.

Director of Planning and Community Development Mike Finchum said he and department staff toured the property March 6 and found two violations of the special exception permit. One found that a shed approved last year as a training and meeting room has been occasionally used to house veterans overnight.

The staff also noticed a new 300-square-foot structure on the property that owner Jason Haag said will be used as a kennel. Finchum said that violates the special exception permit because a site plan was not submitted and the correct permit was not obtained.

The Board allowed the owners 90 days to complete a site plan, thereby allowing the applicant to bring the property into conformance with the approved special exception permit.

Haag submitted the site plan based on existing site conditions, which allows training one service dog team at a time on-site. Additionally, a permit for a change in occupancy to convert the training room for residential occupancy for one veteran will be issued with the approved site plan.

Law enforcement memorial-

A rock memorial that originally devised by Caroline County resident Kara Taylor earlier this year has sparked unfavorable criteria among the Caroline County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Tony Lippa which has delayed construction.

Taylor came up with the EMS/Law Enforcement Memorial after the untimely death of Justin Howard who volunteered 14 years with Caroline County Volunteer Fire and Rescue. She wanted a rock memorial to honor county residents who serve as a volunteer or career EMS provider or law enforcement officer.

The Board of Supervisors previously approved $25,520 cost and the layout of the memorial that will be built on county property in front of the Community Services Center and agreed to allow the public to buy brick pavers for $100 that will recognize long-time volunteers and former staff.

Sheriff Lippa disagrees with the criteria of brick recognition and purchase. He told the board at its meeting Tuesday that his office will not participate in the project unless it is a memorial for those who have died in the line of service. “Do not use the Sheriff’s logo on the memorial,” he said. “You can have a memorial just for the county’s EMS/fire and rescue.”

Supervisor Nancy Long responded “That’s fine, it’s the county’s memorial and you can’t tell someone’s mother that they can’t order a brick. This is a way to thank those who have served countless hours of service”

Long said there should be criteria for the purchase of the bricks such as volunteer hours, years of service and should be of good standing with the county departments.

Get our daily Headlines Newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Recommended for you

Load comments