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.


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