Commission recommends permit for church

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A conditional use permit for a church on Pruden Boulevard received the unanimous recommendation of the Planning Commission Tuesday.

Celebration Christian Church plans to open in a 4,200-square-foot building on 1.1 acres at 2484 Pruden Blvd., adjacent to Gwaltney Dental. The building’s previous function, according to the permit application, was for office use and was split into two office suites.

The building for the church is currently vacant, and the site has a parking area that would be enlarged and improved, according to the staff report for the permit. The staff report notes that the maximum occupancy of the sanctuary would be 100 seats, and parking would include the 16 existing spaces and nine additional spaces in a gravel parking lot, which is slated to be paved.

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The church, which has about 90 members, has no plans to provide a day care or other accessory use. Its operating hours would be from 9 a.m. to noon for services, and 6 to 9 p.m. for youth group on Sundays, 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday for minister hours, and two to three nights per week from 6 to 9 p.m. for miscellaneous evening events.

Currently, Celebration Christian Church, which was started in 2002, meets at the Suffolk YMCA at 2769 Godwin Blvd. in the Teen Center.

The staff report stated that the use of the building as a church was compatible to existing uses in the surrounding area.

David Taylor, a senior land planner with the Timmons Group, put together the technical aspects of the application, while Pastor Adam McManus and church parishioner William Gross were also present for Tuesday’s public hearing on the permit request. No one besides Taylor spoke during the brief public hearing.

City planners had recommended approval of the church’s permit.

City Council will take up the permit request at its Feb. 19 meeting.