amish school

The county has made a decision on vault privies once again. This time, the supervisors reversed the ban they enacted in April 2020.

This long-running issue has been largely driven by members of the Amish community who want vault privies for their schools to keep the facilities close to their traditional way of operation.

Since December, the matter has been back under consideration by Richmond County Board of Supervisors, and after months of discussion and debate, the county held another public hearing last week. 

One person, Walter Stalk, spoke on the matter, and he said, “I hope it can be approved.” Most, if not all comments, from the public on this issue over the past couple of years have supported the ability for those who want vault privies to have them.

At the opening of the discussion last week, Hope Mothershead, the county’s director of planning and zoning told the board members that after staff’s research into other localities, it appears clear that while there are many consistencies in the regulations and interpretations, there are also differences in the way localities regulate these communities. “We believe each locality has the ability and latitude to regulate as they deem appropriate for their community,” she said.

District 2 Supervisor John Parr made a motion to allow vault privies that meet health department standards.

The sole nay vote came from Chairman Lee Sanders of District 5, who has been staunchly opposed to green-lighting vault privies. In addition to previously stating that allowing such systems is taking the county backwards, Sanders has also spoken out against making decisions to accommodate select groups.

The county has made a decision on vault privies once again. This time, the supervisors reversed the ban they enacted in April 2020.

This long-running issue has been largely driven by members of the Amish community who want vault privies for their schools to keep the facilities close to their traditional way of operation.

Since December, the matter has been back under consideration by Richmond County Board of Supervisors, and after months of discussion and debate, the county held another public hearing last week.  

One person, Walter Stalk, spoke on the matter, and he said, “I hope it can be approved.” Most, if not all comments, from the public on this issue over the past couple of years have supported the ability for those who want vault privies to have them.

At the opening of the discussion last week, Hope Mothershead, the county’s director of planning and zoning told the board members that after staff’s research into other localities, it appears clear that while there are many consistencies in the regulations and interpretations, there are also differences in the way localities regulate these communities. “We believe each locality has the ability and latitude to regulate as they deem appropriate for their community,” she said.

District 2 Supervisor John Parr made a motion to allow vault privies that meet health department standards.

The sole nay vote came from Chairman Lee Sanders of District 5, who has been staunchly opposed to green-lighting vault privies. In addition to previously stating that allowing such systems is taking the county backwards, Sanders has also spoken out against making decisions to accommodate select groups.