BEDFORD — Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy will gain three athletic fields thanks to a special use permit the Bedford County Board of Supervisors approved unanimously Monday.
The special use permit was approved with District 2 Supervisor Edgar Tuck and District 1 Supervisor Mickey Johnson abstaining, as they are members of the Eastlake Community Church in Moneta, the entity that applied for the permit.
Eastlake Community Church, which sponsors Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy, applied for a special use permit with Bedford County to allow “Educational Facilities, Primary, Secondary” for construction of three new athletic fields on properties the church owns off Hendricks Store Road and Timberwood Lane in Moneta.
Proposed amenities on the property include two baseball fields and one football and soccer field, with an evergreen tree buffer along property borders, according to the church’s current concept plan.
The Bedford County Planning Commission recommended approval of the project March 16 after a public hearing where no residents spoke, according to meeting records.
Three conditions were attached to the special use permit, including a buffer of large evergreen trees at a minimum of six feet high to be planted along all residential property lines adjoining the fields; that any proposed lighting would be directed downward and away from adjoining properties; and any structures built on the fields may cover no more than half the total area.
No members of the public spoke at the public hearing Monday.
Following another public hearing, the board of supervisors also unanimously approved a special use permit authorizing a 1.5-acre land parcel in Lynch Station to be used for nurse practitioner and Sapient Health Services PLLC owner Phyllis Everett to establish a medical office.
Lynch Station residents Wallace and Gaile Hensley — who also are patients of Everett’s and credit Everett with helping save Gaile’s life by ordering tests that discovered a brain tumor and led to subsequent treatments — own more than 100 acres of farmland. When they heard Everett unexpectedly lost the lease for her previous clinic location in Huddleston, the couple wanted to give back in some way to the woman they said helped them.
The Hensleys requested the special use permit with Bedford County to donate a portion of their land to Everett so the nurse practitioner could have a permanent, stable place to set up a clinic and continue serving her patients.
“I attribute my wife being alive today because of Phyllis Everett and her associates at Sapient Health,” Wallace Hensley said in the public hearing.
District 3 Supervisor Charla Bansley thanked Everett for her service to a rural community before making a motion to approve the special use permit.
“I’m very thankful for the work that you’re doing,” Bansley said to Everett. “There’s not a lot of people that have that kind of heart, to go into a rural community and to fight so hard to stay there.”