Commission approves zoning change

Published 8:15 am Thursday, March 10, 2022

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An organization looking to provide housing options for the county’s homeless population is one step closer to making that a reality.

Love Over Crisis LLC requested a zoning amendment change to the county’s ordinance that would allow a Temporary Emergency Housing Program for single adults in Charlotte Court House.

The zoning amendment would be needed due to the shelter looking to locate in the County’s General Agriculture Zoning District.

The county planning commission approved the zoning request with six in favor, three opposed, and one abstention following a public hearing on Feb. 15.

Before the planning commission’s vote, Love Over Crisis CEO Shelley Mays-Couch said there had been concerns about medical services, mental health services, transportation, medical transportation, nutrition services, substance abuse services access, spiritual guidance, employment support and training.

Mays-Couch said many individuals are on the edge of homelessness and may be doubled up with friends and relatives or paying extremely high proportions of their resources for rent, putting those individuals in survival mode nonstop.

“Lack of support for homeless individuals in rural areas can be one reason for the substance abuse epidemic in Charlotte County and other rural areas and an increase in mental illness,” Mays-Couch said.

During the public hearing Mays-Coach revealed she was a product of the Patrick Henry Girls Home that was once located in Wylliesburg from 2004-2006 and graduated from Randolph Henry High School.

“Although the Patrick Henry Girls Home in the agricultural location of Wylliesburg is no longer in operation, the impact will be everlasting in my life.” Mays-Couch said. “It changed my life and I became the woman I am because of the program that housed young girls like myself who needed motivation and a chance to see what life outside of the struggle looks like.”

According to Assistant County Administrator Monica Elder, the next step is for the Board of Supervisors to set a public hearing on the proposed amendment.

Following the public hearing, the Board can vote on the zoning amendment.

“If approved, Love Over Crises LLC would still need to submit a conditional use permit application for their project and go through the conditional use permit review process, which includes public hearings with both the Planning Commission and Board, a recommendation from the Planning Commission and a Board vote,” Elder said.