SP-2006-016 Mountain View Full Gospel Church – Expansion (Sign #76)
PROPOSED: Amend SP 1981-13; church expansion
ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestall, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre)
SECTION: 220.127.116.11; 10.2.2 (35)
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestall, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (.5 unit/ acre)
ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: No
LOCATION: 1005 Smith Road (Route 758), Afton; south of Route 637
TAX MAP/PARCEL: TM 69, Parcel 37
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall
STAFF: Amy Arnold
DEFERRED FROM THE AUGUST 8, 2006 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING.
Ms. Arnold summarized the staff report.
Ms. Joseph asked if there were any questions for Ms. Arnold.
Mr. Edgerton noted that there were several drawings in Attachment A and he wondered which drawing showed the parking configuration. He asked if it was the drawing on page 6.
Ms. Arnold replied that was correct and noted that the other drawings included the approved site plan from 1981 that showed the future additions.
Mr. Edgerton noted that it was confusing and he wanted to make sure that they referenced the right plan if the Commission approved the request.
Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.
Glenda Atkins, Associate Pastor of Mountain View Full Gospel Church, said that she was one of the founding members as well as a trustee. Tonight she was present to represent the church. Also present tonight was their pastor, William Myrtle; Co-founder/Trustee and Associate Pastor, Louise Puckett; Board member, Carl Dickerson as well as various other members of their congregation. The church will celebrate their 23rd anniversary this month. The vision for Mountain View Full Gospel Church began in 1977 with a congregation of 15 and a building fund of $13.21. In 1981, an architect was hired and plans drawn. On the site plan areas for future expansion to the church and parking lot were indicated. Here we are 25 years later seeking the Commission’s recommendation of approval for a special use permit. As their attendance on Sunday indicates they are growing leaps and bounds. They have a very diverse congregation consisting of different races, creeds, religions, backgrounds and walks of life. They thank God for everyone that has decided to call Mountain View their home church. The sanctuary was built to seat 96 people and the attendance has grown so that chairs have been placed on back walls for seating. Their pulpit area is also crowded. The church members want to have enough room for everybody to sit and be comfortable and room for all their musicians to stand or sit on the pulpit area with their instruments and equipment. They need more room in their alter area to allow enough room for people to come and pray. Their fellowship is in the basement. It is one-half the size of their sanctuary because it has been divided into an office, nursery, Sunday school rooms as well as a kitchen. Special dinners and events are extremely crowded. Weather permitting the overflow eats outside underneath their picnic pavilion. The parking lot has 24 spaces and their front lawn now takes care of the overflow. Our church is located on a dirt road in the rural areas. Slightly over one-half of their church property is wooded. They have carefully looked at the topography and the forested areas as they considered their expansion. Very little area will have to be disturbed with the church expansion as the area is cleaned and landscaped. Only the area needed to extend our parking lot by 40 spaces will be disturbed. On our concept plan they indicated the overflow portion of our parking lot will be behind a stand of trees behind our pavilion. This hides the flat asphalt look of a parking lot. They love the appearance of their church in its country setting and want any expansions to retain that appearance. Ten years after opening our doors our founder and pastor passed away. In the interim, they have had four pastors with the fourth being their present pastor, William Myrtle. It is under his pastor ship and the guidance of our associate pastor, Louise Puckett, that they have now reached the goal that was set 25 years ago for the expansion of the church and parking lot. They ask for the Commission’s recommendation of approval so that this vision can be completed.
Pastor William Myrtle said that the church has grown wonderfully and the Lord has really blessed the church. They are an outreach church to the community and have been able to gain new members in their church. They also have growth in their youth and they want to provide comfortable facilities to keep them off the streets and in church. Their youth is their upcoming new church. He thanked the Commission for their time.
Ms. Joseph asked if there were other members of the public present that would like to speak to this request.
Louise Puckett, Associate Pastor and Co-Founder of Mountain View Full Gospel Church, said that they have a great outreach to the community. Through the years they have supported missionaries and have raised four orphans to the age that they were able to take care of themselves. They are still contributing towards the outreach in world missions. As they gather here this evening they have a lot of young people who need space. She felt that expansion is really needed. By doing this they can not only expand the mission outside the church, but certainly make it more comfortable inside. She thanked the Commission for their time.
Carl Dickerson, a member of Mountain View Full Gospel Church, said that he lives in Buckingham County and drives 1 hour and 15 minutes every Sunday to church. He thanked God for the church. The church is reaching out and helping other people. If there were more churches like theirs there would be less people in prison and more in church.
There being no further public comment, Ms. Joseph closed the public hearing and the matter was placed before the Commission.
Mr. Strucko asked if the applicant agreed with the nine conditions recommended by staff.
Ms. Joseph asked Ms. Atkins, since she was the representative for the applicant, if she had looked at the nine proposed conditions and was alright with them.
Ms. Atkins replied that she had reviewed the conditions and had no problems with them.
Ms. Joseph said that the church had done a really good job of putting the parking behind the building and keeping as many of the trees. She was happy to see that there was some reverence for the Oak trees. She appreciated the sensitivity to placing the parking behind the building.
Motion: Mr. Morris moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, to approve SP-2006-016, Mountain View Full Gospel Church, as depicted on the August 24, 2006 drawing with the recommended conditions, and also to approve the waiver from Section 18-18.104.22.168 to allow five years from the date of approval of this Special Use Permit to commence construction instead of two years.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that in sending this to the Board for action staff will make sure that there is a specific reference in condition #1 to the attachment that the Commission noted.
The motion passed by a vote of 6:0. (Commissioner Higgins was absent.)
Ms. Joseph stated that SP-2006-016, Mountain View Full Gospel Church, would go to the Board of Supervisors on October 4 with a recommendation for approval.
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