Supervisors sign off on permit for organization

Published 8:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2022

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Since last month’s board of supervisors (BOS) meeting, the request to open a Temporary Emergency Housing Program for single adults in Charlotte Court House has created many questions from citizens.

While the BOS did approve a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Love Over Crisis LLC, it was only for the organization to use the location for administrative offices.

Earlier this year, Love Over Crisis requested a zoning change to the county’s ordinance to allow a housing program.

That request was denied by the BOS.

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

According to County Administrator Dan Witt, once the zoning amendment was denied for housing, the organization’s CEO Shelley Mays-Couch developed another plan for use of the building and property, that being administrative offices for the business.

“This use also required a CUP, but no changes were needed to the County’s zoning ordinance,” Witt said. “The Planning Commission recommended approval, and the Board approved her CUP application on a 6-1 vote.”

When it came to denying the zoning application and blocking the use of the building for housing individuals, in an email, 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.

Love Over Crisis has been quick to point out that they are a Christian organization and stand by many Christian beliefs.

During the September BOS meeting, Supervisor Garland Hamlett Jr. asked Mays-Couch if they would accept someone of a different faith that may be in need of services.

Although the CEO did not directly answer the question, she stood firm in saying the organization is Christian based and follows the guidance of the Bible.

Supervisor Hazel Bowman Smith was the lone no vote of the BOS for the CUP to locate administrative offices in the building. However, she did not state her reasoning for voting no.

With the CUP approval for only offices, the organization would be in violation if overnight housing were to occur.