City Approves Woodland Montessori Special Use Permit

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va.--- The Harrisonburg city council approved a special use permit that will allow a school to open its doors near Running Springs road.

Woodland Montessori school currently has two separate buildings that house 70 students. After the $1.2 million project is completed, it could have up to 170 students in one building. This would include preschool and elementary students.

The school needed the permit to operate in a single family residential district because of the preschool program.

In the city, services offered to children ages 2.5 to 4 is considered a child daycare center. This requires a special use permit for operation.

The city's planning commission requested the school to have 41 parking spaces. However, the school cannot operate before 6 a.m. and it cannot routinely have activities after 7 p.m.

Woodland Montessori school owner Jackie Morales-Shifflett said she does not think traffic would be a problem in the area because parents pick up their children at different times.

"I understand their concerns about traffic but I feel that we are going to do as much as we can to make it as least intrusive as possible," said Morales-Shifflett.

However, some neighbors like Diana Disalvo have some concerns.

"I don't care how staggered it is. This is a quiet neighborhood that I love dearly because it is that way," said Disalvo.

When the school submits its site plan, it may be required to have a traffic impact analysis. This is if their use creates more than 100 vehicles trips in the peak hour of the adjacent street.

The school is expected to open in 2015. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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