SP 2007-48 Mt. Alto Church Amendment




Changes of conditions approved with SP 2007-16 to allow additional square footage for the expansion of church alter area




Cilimberg, McDowell





Planning Commission:  December 18, 2007

Board of Supervisors:    January 9, 2008


ACTION:    x            INFORMATION: 



  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   











On June 12, 2007, the Planning Commission recommended approval of SP 2007-16, to allow a 320 square foot expansion of Mt. Alto Baptist Church.  The application included 20’ X 30’ as the dimensions of the proposed building addition.  The special use permit also brought the church into compliance with the zoning ordinance. The staff report is included for reference, as Attachment 1.


As part of the approval, the Planning Commission directed staff to amend the conditions of approval to address the legally non-conforming status of Mt. Alto Church.  The Commission requested that the conditions establish the size of the existing sanctuary, indicate any day care or preschool held at the church would require a special use permit, and also to allow for a period of five years from approval for the commencement of the use.  The conditions approved by the Board of Supervisors on July 11 reflect these changes (Attachment 2).




Following the approval, the applicant learned that they had requested a smaller structure for the expansion than what was necessary.   As the conditions of approval specifically reflected the applicant’s request at the time for the size of the proposed expansion (320 square feet), staff cannot administratively allow an increased size. Therefore, the applicant has requested an amendment of SP 2007-16 to be allow the church addition to be 448 square feet (Attachment 3).


The proposed expansion would provide additional space for the choir, organ, and a study area for the pastor.  The change from the approved 320 square feet to the proposed 448 square feet did not receive any objections from the reviewing divisions and agencies.  A site visit to the church revealed that the church is located in an area with limited visibility from adjoining properties and it is not visible from any residential dwellings. Photographs of the site reflect these surroundings (Attachment 4).  The additional square footage also would be consistent with the findings, as previously stated in the SP 2007-16 staff report (Attachment 2).   




Due to the secluded location of the church and that the additional square feet would not increase traffic, staff recommends that specific square footages be eliminated from the conditions of approval, in order to allow some flexibility for the applicant. In addition, condition number one would continue to provide assurances that the general size and location of the structure would remain consistent with the approval.      


The changes to the approved conditions of approval are reflected by underlines for new words and strikethroughs for deletions.


Staff recommends approval of SP 2007-48 Mt. Alto Baptist Church Addition with the following conditions:


1.       Special Use Permit 2007-16 48 shall be developed in general accord with the concept application plan, provided by the applicant and received February 26, 2007 September 28, 2007, (Attachment A 3)  However, the Zoning Administrator may approve revisions to the concept application plan to allow compliance with the Zoning Ordinance. 

2.       The addition shall be limited to 320 square feet.

3.       The area of assembly shall be limited to a maximum 175 seat sanctuary; occasional church gatherings beyond the normal capacity of the sanctuary shall be permitted.

4.       There shall be no day care center or private school on site without approval of a separate special use permit. 

5.       Construction of the 320 square foot addition shall commence within 5 years from the approval by the Board of Supervisors of SP 2007-48 or this special use permit shall expire.




Attachment 1:   SP 2007-16 Staff Report

Attachment 2:   SP 2007-16 Update – Approved Conditions of Approval

Page 2 of Attachment 3:   Concept Plan of location and size of proposed expansion, submitted by the applicant

Attachment 4:   Photographs of the church and of the surrounding area visible from the proposed expansion

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