Staff Contact:                                                                                    Rebecca Ragsdale

Planning Commission:                                                                     July 19, 2005

Board of Supervisors:                                                                     September 7, 2005






Petition: Request for a special use permit for a church to allow for a building addition, in accordance with Section of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for church uses in the RA (Rural Areas).  The subject parcel, described as Tax Map 36, Parcel 22, contains approximately 1 acre zoned RA.  This site is located at 6820 Wildon Grove Road (Route 645), which is approximately 1.5 miles southwest of the intersection of Magnolia Road (Route 645) and Happy Creek Road (Route 608), approximately 2 miles south of the Albemarle/Orange County line.  The property lies within the Rivanna Magisterial District in the area designated as Rural Areas 2 by the Comprehensive Plan.


Character of the Area: The church is located near the Orange County line and Barboursville. It is surrounded by mostly agricultural parcel, including the Blue Run Agricultural and Forestal District which is located less than a one-quarter mile south and west of the church property. The closest residence is about 200 feet away from the church property to the east.   


Planning and Zoning History: This existing church does not have any previous special use permit approvals. The existing fellowship hall was built in 1929 and the sanctuary was built in 1970. There is also a small cemetery on the site.


Comprehensive Plan: The Comprehensive Plan identifies this site and surrounding area as being located in the Rural Areas. Churches provide a service to rural area residents and the use is considered to be consistent with the policies within the Comprehensive Plan. It is important to note the property is located near important rural area resources identified in the Comprehensive Plan, including the Mountain Overlay District and the Southwest Mountains Rural Historic District. The Historic Preservation planner has commented on the historical significance of the site. (Attachment D) The existing 666 square-foot fellowship was built in 1929 and is not in a condition to be rehabilitated and will be demolished with this project.  Staff recommends documentation of the site as condition of approval of this special use permit. No other detrimental impacts to Rural Area resources were identified.


Applicant’s Justification for the Request:

The church is in need of additional space for current members and the fellowship hall addition will provide a bathroom, kitchen, and meeting space.


Staff Comment:


Staff will address each provision of Section of the Zoning Ordinance below:


The Board of Supervisors hereby reserves unto itself the right to issue all special use permits permitted hereunder.  Special use permits for uses as provided in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,


This approval would not increase the intensity of use on the site, and would not create impacts on adjacent properties.


 that the character of the district will not be changed thereby,


Churches are a permitted use in the Rural Areas district, and are a longstanding feature of the rural landscape.


and that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,


The use is not expected to be in conflict with the intent of the Zoning Ordinance, or of the Rural Areas zoning district.


with the uses permitted by right in the district,


This is a small church and does not host meetings or other activities for other organizations at this time. The addition is planned for the use of church members. The church serves members of the community and is not in conflict with agriculture, forestry, residential uses, or other by-right uses in the district.


with additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance,


There are no additional regulations in section 5.0 for this use.


and with the public health, safety and general welfare.


VDOT provided the following comment on this application:


Staff does not recommend that the entrances be consolidated.  Existing entrance conditions have worked effectively for the church and there is no increase in activity proposed by the church with this special use permit, nor is traffic on the road expected to increase. The church property is the last property along the state maintained roadway and the road ends at a farm entrance.  



Staff recommends approval of SP 04-053 with the following conditions:


  1. The site shall be developed in general accord with the plan entitled “Application Plan for Special Use Permit 2004-53,” revised June 13, 2005;
  2. The area of assembly shall be limited to the existing 94 seat sanctuary;
  3. There shall be no day care center or private school on site without approval of a separate special use permit; 
  4. The existing fellowship hall building (as labeled on the Application Plan Attachment B) and site shall be documented by an architectural historian, or other qualified person approved by staff, prior to proceeding removal.



A. Special Use Permit Application

  1. Location Map
  2. Application Plan
  3. Historic Preservation Planner comments
    Return to PC actions letter