Hearings for shelter are Jan. 11

Published 10:30 am Thursday, December 29, 2016

Farmville Town Council will hold two public hearings during its Jan. 11 meeting as part of Southside Center for Violence Prevention (SCVP) Inc.’s bid to operate a domestic violence shelter at 1412 Longwood Ave. in Farmville.

SCVP operates Madeline’s House, a domestic violence safe house, and the Piedmont Crisis Center, a sexual assault crisis center.

The hearings, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11, will focus on a rezoning amendment to change the property from R-1 Residential to B-3 Business and a zoning amendment adding domestic violence shelters to permitted uses in a B-3 Business zone.

During the council’s November meeting, property owners Ed and Mike Helton, along with SCVP Executive Director Glenn O. Fowlkes, addressed concerns and answered questions council posed in an earlier meeting.

In explaining operations at Madeline’s House, Fowlkes said safety, food and basic necessities are provided to victims and their families “to be able to get (them) back on their feet. We’re designed as a 30-day program. We’re not strict on that, because lots of these victims are coming to us have lost all of their IDs. You’ve got to be able to get somebody on their feet before jobs (and) apartments could be found. We’re doing a lot of connecting with different agencies.”

Madeline’s House needs a conditional use permit from the council to operate the shelter. The permit request is contingent on the rezoning and zoning amendment requests.

In October, the Farmville Planning Commission recommended approval of the permit to council with the conditions that the shelter have a “highly sophisticated alarm system and lighting,” nine bedrooms to house up to 25 people, off-street parking, a 6-foot white vinyl fence, staffing 24/7 and house only female clients.

This story has been corrected from its original version.