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Church gets council approval

Celebration Christian Church received unanimous approval from City Council for a conditional use permit to open a church on Pruden Boulevard.

Council gave its approval Feb. 19 following a public hearing. The Planning Commission had unanimously recommended the permit in January, and city planners had also recommended approval.

The church plans to open in a 4,200-square-foot building on 1.1 acres at 2484 Pruden Blvd., near Gwaltney Dental. The building, which is currently vacant, had previously served as office space and was split into two office suites, according to the permit application.

The sanctuary of the new church, which has about 90 members, would have a maximum occupancy of 100 seats. Parking for the church would include the 16 existing spaces and nine additional spaces in a gravel parking lot, which is to be paved.

Currently, Celebration Christian Church, which started in 2002, has been meeting at the Suffolk YMCA at 2769 Godwin Blvd. since 2004.

The relocated Celebration Christian Church does not have plans to provide day care or other accessory uses, and there would be no food preparation allowed. 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.

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

“As a neighbor, I’d like to commend Celebration Christian Church for their project,” said Councilman Mike Duman. “Not only is it an addition, it’s a very, very attractive remodel and in addition, I appreciate your additional investment in that corridor. As far as I’m concerned, it’ll be a huge asset to that area.”

Council also unanimously approved its consent agenda, which included the following:

  • Approving the donation of an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, from Suffolk Project Lifesaver Search and Rescue to assist Suffolk Fire and Rescue in locating and rescuing lost residents in the Suffolk Project Lifesaver Search and Rescue program.
  • Accepting $9,380 in funding from the state Department of Aviation to support the Suffolk Executive Airport in its efforts to upgrade the automated point of sale system.
  • Accepting $87,790.46 in grand funding from the federal Department of Agriculture for the Summer Food Service Program, which is administered by the Department of Parks and Recreation. The program provides breakfasts and lunches to children at qualified sites during the summer.
  • An ordinance to amend the Agricultural Advisory Committee, which in its original form had a typographical error that left out Holy Neck from the list of areas in which members would be appointed in the Production Agricultural Farmers interest, representing each farm service agency local advisory area.