VALDOSTA — A personal-care home is asking the city to allow it to increase occupancy from four to seven in a residential area.

The Valdosta City Council will vote Thursday, Sept. 5, on two zoning changes requested by the building owner of a care home. The property, located at 704 Holly Drive, is called Nurturing Love, LLC and is currently a personal-care home for four people.

According to city documents, the building is a two-story single-family home with five bedrooms and two baths. To be eligible, the request requires a rezoning to multi-family residential. There is no request to make any changes to the building size, documents stated.

City staff said they are strongly opposed to the rezoning request with zoning concerns.

The surrounding development pattern is single-family residential neighborhood, which should be preserved and protected, staff said.

However, staff is not aware of any reported incidents or complaints about the current facility, and it seems to be operating in full compliance with its conditional-use permit, according to documents.

Given the good track record and the size of the home, it is believed the facility could perhaps accommodate a couple more residents, staff said.

However, staff is concerned about the facility not having operational staff who reside on the premises. Trained staff only work 12-hour shifts at the facility, documents stated.

"This is one reason why the proposed use falls into a different-size category as a group personal care home with seven to 15 residents that is subject to additional requirements at both the state and local level," staff said.

City staff found the request inconsistent with the comprehensive plan and the conditional use review criteria and recommends denial to the council.

Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

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