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— William Howard Taft

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Virginia Beach Lodge Hitting The Road

A lodge in Virginia Beach may soon be hitting the road for a new location. Literally.

From an article by Margaret Matray in the 2/11/2013 Virginian-Pilot:
A building more than 120 years old could be hitting the road soon, headed for a new plot of land about three miles away.  
 The City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a conditional use permit that would allow Princess Anne Masonic Lodge No. 25 to be moved from 2849 Princess Anne Road southeast to 3067 West Neck Road. In January, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the permit in a 9-1 vote. 
 The two-story, 2,120-square-foot lodge was built in the late 1800s on land leased from the Princess Anne County Courthouse. It was moved in 1936 to the western end of the courthouse property and moved a second time in 1968 to its current spot on Princess Anne Road, according to a proposal submitted to the planning commission.  
 In decades since, road projects have encroached on the lodge site, according to the proposal, and a more rural location is needed. The lodge would be moved to land owned by Emma Smithson Fountain, whose father was a member. In 2011, a conservation easement was placed on the property on West Neck Road to preserve two areas: the historic Thomas Woodhouse House and 3.75 acres designated for a Masonic lodge. Fountain donated that portion of the site to the lodge, according to the proposal.  
 If the council approves the move, a landscape buffer would be built to separate the site from single-family homes nearby. The lodge could add a 6,500-square-foot expansion, according to the proposal.

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