~ PVN staff report
LURAY — An application for a special use permit to operate a childcare facility at St. Mark Lutheran Church on East Main Street is the focus of one of three scheduled public hearings during the Luray Council’s next regular monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 14.
Luray resident Jennifer Smith submitted the application on June 5 on behalf of her business, Every Child Early Learning Center, Inc., which the application states is “licensed through the VDOE” (Virginia Department of Education). It also states that the childcare facility will be “specialized for children with and without special needs.” The application outlines that the childcare operation will be renting from St. Marks, “but will not be associated with the church itself.”
Smith states in the application that the “childcare facility is already working with [the] health department, state licensing, and [the] fire marshal to ensure compliance.” However, it is unclear if Smith has all of the proper licensing in place to operate a childcare facility.
Town code defines a childcare facility as “a building or structure, however designated, other than public school facilities operated for the purposes of providing care, guidance, education or training, or any part thereof, to any child five years old or younger during only part of the 24-hour day for more than five children not of common parentage.” The Town requires that such facilities meet all applicable regulations of the department of social services, the department of health, and the state and local building codes.
Supplementary regulations include parking requirements for public or private nursery, day care, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or high schools — “there shall be one parking space for each teacher, employee, or administrator, whether full or part time, whose activities are conducted between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in addition to the requirements of the auditoriums.” A report from staff indicates that, “The site does not comply with this requirement.”
Smith conducted a tour of the facilities at 201 East Main Street, which sits in a B-1 Business zoning district, with members of the Luray Planning Commission, as well as providing supplemental information about the operation. The planning commission unanimously recommended approval on July 12.
Smith’s husband, 33-year-old Anthony Kent Smith was arrested in the early morning hours of July 16 after calling 911 to report that he had broken into the Luray Singing Tower with bolt cutters and a sledge hammer. Jennifer initially called police to report that her husband was on his way to commit the crime.
Two other public hearings scheduled for Aug. 14 involve special use permits to operate lodging homes. The Town defines a Lodging House as a “residential building, other than a hotel, motel or bed-and-breakfast home, where lodging is provided for compensation on a regular basis, pursuant to previous arrangements, but which is not open to the public or transient guests, for no longer than thirty consecutive days. Meals may be provided to the residents in a central location; however, no provisions shall be made for cooking in individual rooms or units. The maximum number of guests shall be two per bedroom with on-site parking for all guests.
Additional regulations recommended by staff include limiting guest stays to 14 days and not allowing the permit to transfer upon sale of the property (or membership interest composition of the holding company).
Ashish Ravindran and Neethu Vallabhan submitted an application for a special use permit to operate a lodging house at 111 Baker Drive in the Planned Neighborhood Development (PND) at Luray Landing behind Walmart. The Luray Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval on July 12.
Vineela Kambhampati submitted an application for a special use permit to operate a lodging house at 172 College Drive in the Planned Neighborhood Development (PND) at Luray Landing behind Walmart. The Luray Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval on July 12.
For more information about the Town of Luray,