Agri-tourism site proposed for Scottsville area

Residents raise concerns

By Heather Michon

More than 50 residents from Fluvanna and Albemarle counties turned out in Scottsville on Thursday night (March 30) to hear a presentation by representatives of Michigan-based Sun Communities about an ambitious agri-tourism site they are proposing for Reventon Farm on Rolling Road South in southwest Fluvanna County.

Senior Vice President Bill Raffoul wanted to get one thing settled upfront: “We aren’t proposing a big RV park for this beautiful farm.”

Sun Outdoors, a division of Sun Communities, owns 182 RV communities across North America.

Instead of growing the company’s RV portfolio, Raffoul said he was part of Sun Communities’ “passion project division,” charged with finding beautiful natural venues for a different kind of outdoor experience. 

Revention Farm certainly fits the bill. According to a 2021 listing on the real estate website LoopNet, it sits on almost 750 acres of “spectacular mountain views, rolling hills, fertile farmlands, hardwood forests, and 14 separate lakes, including the largest privately owned lake in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Today, it is both a working farm focused on raising black Angus cattle, and a wedding venue offering outdoor pavilions overlooking the lake and an 8,000-sq foot event barn.

If the project comes to fruition, it will become a small resort featuring 150 cottages and a wide array of outdoor activities, wellness and fitness programs, and farm-to-table dining options.  

“This is for people to come out and bring their families to stay in a cottage and ride a horse and learn how a farm works and kayak and go out and enjoy the lake and go for a hike in the woods and hopefully have really good food and allow them to get a sliver of the things that you enjoy here every day,” said Raffoul.

Many residents, however, were less than receptive to the company’s vision for the property, peppering Raffoul and his associates with questions about the impact the resort might have on traffic on area roads, the local water supply, and the neighborhood’s noise level. There was also lingering skepticism that the resort wouldn’t eventually include an RV park.

“You’re talking to people who have lived here their whole lives, traveling these roads every single day,” said one woman. “Even though you guys may come in here and take a look at the property and see all this ‘potential,’ we’re looking at ‘who would take a 750-acre farm and want to turn it into something that doesn’t benefit the community? How many more wineries and vineyards do we need?’”

Raffoul tried to reassure the audience that he and his team understood the concerns each resident was raising. “We are committed to making sure this is done the right way,” he said.  

But because the project is in its early development stage, they didn’t have the type of information needed to answer detailed questions about impacts on traffic or local infrastructure.  The company has not yet purchased the property. 

Developing Reventon Farm could also bring some complex zoning issues. The county line passes through the property, with five tax parcels in Fluvanna and four in Albemarle. 

The Fluvanna County Community Development Director Douglas Miles and his Albemarle County counterpart Bill Fritz said the company has not yet applied for the special use permits it would need to move forward. Special use permits would need approval from both county Planning Commissions and both Boards of Supervisors.

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