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Planners recommend three approvals

Suffolk’s Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval for expansion of the Suffolk campus of The Children’s Center during its Dec. 18 meeting.

The expansion will allow the Children’s Center, at 300 Executive Court off Wilroy Road, to grow to 15,400 square feet, which is almost 5,000 square feet bigger than its current facility.

The addition will consist of six classrooms, professional offices, rooms for therapy services and a kitchen and pantry space. This will allow the facility to expand its Head Start program.

The facility will also build an additional playground that will be roughly 3,000 square feet.

The Children’s Center currently serves 132 children, and the expansion will allow it to increase enrollment to 180 children. The center will also hire 24 additional staff members for the increased enrollment.

The Children’s Center is a nonprofit organization that provides early childhood education services to children from birth to 5 years old. The organization serves the Western Tidewater region, and it also serves children with disabilities and developmental delays.

While staff recommended approval of the application, a few conditions are required to be met for the facility to expand.

The center’s water main service will have to be upgraded for the expansion, and due to the increased traffic, they will have to add right and left-hand turn lanes on Wilroy Road.

The section of Wilroy Road is currently narrow, and to build the turn lanes would require some type of right-of-way acquisition.

According to the engineer and project manager working with the facility, Stuart Bonnell, their current preliminary engineering plans will expand both sides of the roadway to maintain improvements within the current right of way.

During the meeting, the commission also voted to recommend approval of two other conditional use permits.

The commission voted 6-2 in favor of recommending approval of Suffolk Crazy Vapes adding a store, which will allow smoking inside, on Portsmouth Boulevard.

The commission voted unanimously to allow for Community Church to establish a place of worship in the old Food Lion on Holland Road. The church currently meets at King’s Fork High School.

All three applications will go to Suffolk City Council for approval or denial at 7 p.m. Jan. 16.