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Planners approve permit for shelter

The Farmville Planning Commission is recommending approval of a special use permit for Southside Center for Violence Prevention (SCVP) to locate a domestic violence shelter at 1412 Longwood Ave. in the former Calvary Church building.

Sherry Honeycut

Sherry Honeycut

No one spoke during a public hearing held on the permit application Wednesday, which now goes to the Farmville Town Council for final approval following a separate public hearing the council will hold, according to Town Planner Cindy Morris.

On Jan. 11, the town council approved of rezoning the .631-acre lot from R-1 Residential to B-3 Business, adding domestic violence shelters as an allowed use in B-3 zones.

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

“This property is zoned B-3, business, and allows for a domestic violence shelters with a conditional use permit,” explained Commission Chairman Sherry Honeycutt.

Ed and Mike Helton own the property.

The 17 permit conditions unanimously agreed to by planners address a wide variety of issues including security, signage, parking, admission, accreditation, fencing, on-site supervision, length of time and review of the permit.

According to the conditions, the facility will only accommodate adult female residents, including mothers and their dependents. The shelter will contain up to nine bedrooms and the number of individuals, including children of victims, may not exceed 25.

One condition includes a “minimum of 12-hour on-site supervision by staff or trained volunteers (7 a.m.-9 p.m.) with 24/7/365 supervision via on-call rotation by staff.”

Another condition stipulates a 24-hour security with integrated security, including multiple monitors, directly linked to police and emergency services.

The permit, if approved, may be reviewed by town council at its discretion, reserving the right to review or terminate the permit with reasonable notice.

According to the conditions, the “Farmville Police Chief may request that the town council review the conditional use permit.”

During the meeting, planners discussed security, access via windows, liability insurance and evacuation plans with property owner Ed Helton.