In July, owner Charles Snead was denied an effort to expand his LGBTQ-friendly resort by the county’s Board of Supervisors and now he faces legal action over alleged zoning violations.
Zebulon’s Grotto, which features its own lake and Greek statues, is a popular destination for nakations, but
reports that Snead’s neighbors aren’t fans of its “scale of activities.”
In August, one neighbor, Peter Mason, accused Snead of zoning and building violations and demanded the Board of Supervisors take action, asking, “What’s being done to resolve these violations? Why should anybody apply for any permit if there’s never any enforcement for violations?”
Snead described complaints as “inaccuracies and lies,” at the meeting.
County Attorney Andrew McRoberts noted that there is ongoing legal action against Snead, saying in an email to
, “The county has issued numerous notices of violations against Zebulon’s Grotto, has filed a lawsuit to enforce the zoning ordinance and building code, and achieved an order from the court confirming certain violations and ordering compliance with those violations.”
Over the past several years, Zebulon’s Grotto has reportedly been the target of repeated zoning citation for exceeding occupancy. This year’s complaints include refurbishing freight containers into a commercial kitchen, converting a storage building into a guest house, and building camping platforms with roofs — all without the proper permits.
Snead was reportedly previously ordered to stop offering day passes, to end special events, and to limit his guests to 14 a night: eight at the B&B and six in the campground.
Snead’s effort to expand the campground was shot down by the Board of Supervisors in a 4-1 vote.
A GoFundMe campaign
has been launched to provide “unanticipated legal representation to fight for the right to continue to operate.”
The effort, posted by Steven Hoy says the 36-acre clothing-optional retreat “prides itself on being an LGBTQIA-friendly environment offering a judgment-free oasis for individuals to escape their hectic lives and experience the wonder of naturism.”
The GoFundMe campaign describes the zoning issues as “fueled by opposition and discrimination” by a conservative county…in an attempt to 1) remove existing permits, 2) prevent ZG from obtaining necessary permits to comply with zoning and building ordinances and 3) discriminate against our black, gay, & naturist-owned business and business owner.”
It adds, “Zebulon's Grotto is a labor of love and the culmination of years of hard work for its owner, Charles Snead, a retired landscape architect who has invested over 25 years in making this space a reality.”