Permit for shelter approved

Published 11:01 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Farmville Town Council has approved a conditional use permit for the Southside Center for Violence Prevention (SCVP) to locate a domestic violence shelter at 1412 Longwood Ave. in the former Calvary Church building.

No one spoke during Wednesday’s public hearing on the permit request, which was previously recommended for approval from town planners.

The permit was approved during council’s Wednesday meeting with 13 conditions addressing parking, capacity, security, on-site supervision, admission, exterior lighting, signage and fencing.

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.

The permit garnered unanimous approval from town council members.

According to the approved conditions, the facility “will maintain accreditation through the state-endorsed Virginia Sexual Domestic Violence Action Alliance, the accrediting agency for all domestic violence shelters in Virginia.”

The facility will only admit adult female residents (including mothers and their dependent children), according to the conditions.

The facility will have 24-hour security using an “integrated security system with multiple monitors, linked directly to police and emergency services, as well as staff presence and on-call staff rotations.”

“Admission will occur during normal business hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except in cases of life-or-death situations, referred mostly by police, emergency personnel or associated professionals.”

Exterior lighting, according to the conditions, “will be appropriate and non-invasive to the residential area.” The conditions call for all parking to be off-street, and a six-foot vinyl fence around “almost the entire perimeter of the shelter except for the front of the building which will serve as the administration section.”

No identifying signage can be present, according to the conditions.

According to SCVP’s website, the organization was established in 1999 “in response to the cries of persons who experience domestic and sexual violence. …”