Church receives conditional use permit

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

A conditional use permit for a new church on South Saratoga Street has received city approval.

Faith in God Deliverance Church will turn the 3,200-square-foot structure at 152 S. Saratoga St. into a place of worship. It will hold about 49 people in a 1,300-square-foot sanctuary. The church does not have plans for a daycare or other accessory uses as part of the request.

Suffolk City Council unanimously approved the permit at its July 17 meeting following a public hearing.

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The church’s founder, Miriam Sherrod, said in a letter to the Department of Planning and Community Development that services would take place weekly on Sundays and Wednesdays, and that church meetings would be held regularly, though no specific days have been established as yet for those.

The property is in Suffolk’s central business district, with a public parking lot to the north, a barber shop to the south and an auto parts store across the street to the west.

The church plans to use the adjacent city parking lot at the intersection of South Saratoga and Cherry streets for its parking.

The property had previously been the site of a pawn shop.

In other council news:

  • Council unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Trenita Cherry to establish a family day care for up to 10 children using 528 square feet of space at her home at 628 Adkins Circle.

Cherry is currently licensed through the state Department of Social Services to provide daycare for up to four children ages 6 weeks to 12 years, according to the staff report, and would operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Since the conditional use permit was approved, Cherry will have to update her license with the state Department of Social Services.

  • The city’s director of Planning and Community Development will be the approving authority for all preliminary and final subdivision plats — except for family transfer subdivisions — after council unanimously approved a change in the Unified Development Ordinance.

The Planning Commission will continue to have approving authority for all family transfer subdivisions.

“We long wanted this to happen,” said Claudia Cotton, chief executive officer of the Tidewater Builders Association. “It creates a more efficient process, both with the customer side of the equation, and I’m sure for staff as well to have one less hearing and staff report to provide. You have a very competent and capable planning staff that can handle this administratively.”

  • The developer of a 44-unit single family attached residential development at the corner of Bennett’s Pasture Road and Driver Lane will no longer have to pay a proffer for student generation at the elementary and middle school levels.

Council unanimously approved an ordinance amending the proffer after receiving a staff report that indicated there is now enough capacity at Florence Bowser Elementary School and John Yeates Middle School.

Council originally approved a rezoning request for the property on Dec. 16, 2015.

Under the city’s updated adequate public facilities ordinance, the proposed development will create six high school students at Nansemond River High School. The proffer for that still stands, and the developer is to contribute $26,500 per student — $159,000 total — to be made on a prorated basis after each certificate of occupancy is issued.

Additional development approvals have increased Nansemond River’s deficit from 375 to 419 students, according to the staff report on the ordinance. The $26,500 proffer amount per student, according to the staff report, is based on the project cost and the 2,000-student capacity of a proposed high school that is in the adopted 2019-2028 Capital Improvements Program and Plan.