Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority

Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority


David McGee

BRISTOL, Va. — A daycare center is being proposed for the site of the former EnVision Center on Birch Street.

The Bristol Virginia Redevelopment and Housing Authority is seeking a special use permit to establish the daycare center at 144 Birch St. The location is at the corner of Birch and Lee Highway, just off the five-points intersection, near the Douglass Senior Center.

On Monday the Bristol Virginia Planning Commission unanimously approved sending the request to the City Council for a public hearing. That is expected to occur at the council’s Aug. 8 regular meeting.

“The Housing Authority is just providing the building. The daycare center will be managed by the YWCA of Bristol,” Richard Pannell, operations manager for the authority, told the commission.

“The center will be open to the public but it will have a sliding fee scale for lower income residents. They will provide the operation and management,” Pannell said after the meeting.

Plans are for the facility to accept only non-school age children, age 4 and under, according the request filed with the city.

A daycare center once operated in the one-story, 3,000-square-foot building next to the Johnson Court complex, and it currently has a small playground on the property.

It was the temporary home of the EnVision Center, a federal Housing and Urban Development-funded program provides a centralized hub to access support in economic empowerment, educational advancement, health and wellness and character and leadership. The center has been relocated to the Housing Authority offices.

That also required a special use permit from the city.

“A daycare center is only permitted in this district with a special use permit,” Director of Community Development & Planning Jay Detrick told the Planning Commission.

The site is zoned R-2, single and two-family residential but much of the surrounding area is zoned residential.

In a separate action, the commission voted unanimously to approve a separate Housing Authority request to build a single-family home on land it owns at the corner of Mary Street and Oakview Avenue.

The property is zoned B-1 neighborhood business but much of the adjoining property is zoned for residential use, Detrick said.

The request isn’t a rezoning.

The proposed house would be a single-family residence with three bedrooms and two bathrooms and, if its board approves, they hope to begin construction later this year.

“We have another piece of property that we’re looking at putting a single family house on. We have a few properties that, it’s time for us to do something other than just sitting there. We’re looking at developing some single-family homes and some other lots capable of multi-family homes,” Pannell said.