Changes to Legagcy Church approved

Minor changes to the Legacy Christian Church project on Rockaway Road were approved Tuesday by the Senoia City Council. The shape of the building on the 19 acre property will be changed from rectangular to square and the positions of the nearby pavilion and playground will be interchanged.

Council members last month unanimously approved a conditional use permit on the 19 acre site on Rockaway Road for the construction of the 15,000-20,000 square-foot church. The approval followed a similar recommendation by the Senoia Planning Commission. The commission’s approval with a number of conditions included the stipulation that any revisions to the site plan must come back to the city council.

That stipulation brought the church back before the council Tuesday night. The site plan amendment called for the church building to take the form of a square rather the triangular shape originally proposed. The proposal also requested that the positions of the playground and pavilion, located adjacent to the church building, be interchanged.

The 19 acre property is positioned at Rockaway Road and Heritage Pointe Parkway and will have entrances on both roads.
Church plans call for the construction of the building that will include a sanctuary, classrooms, offices and a kitchen. Future plans calls for expanding the building to 20,000 square feet.

Addressing the question of whether the property is appropriate for use by a church, city administrator Richard Ferry at the August meeting said having a church at the location should be appropriate and should not have a negative impact on neighboring property values.

“Churches can be seen as a negative externality because of the potential for negative impacts such as traffic. However, it can also be argued that a church is a positive amenity to a residential area. Historically speaking, churches in Senoia have been constructed in residential areas, in the transition zones and in commercial areas,” Ferry said in a memo the council members. “I don’t think that there is a negative impact on the property value of any home near to Senoia Methodist Church or Senoia Baptist Church.”

“That said, this will be the first church that is located outside of the historic district that is in a residential zone. The homes in Heritage Pointe have brick and stone fronts. A portion of the Heritage Pointe clubhouse is rock. The front of the proposed church should also be a material that is similar to fronts of the buildings in Heritage Pointe,“ Ferry continued. “If the impacts are properly mitigated, I don’t expect that there will be a decline in property values for moderate-sized churches such as the one proposed here.

The conceptual plan cited proposed and future parking needs at approximately 400 spaces as required by the city. But Ferry recommended, and the council agreed, that the requirement be waived for now to 250 spaces until the ministry grows sufficiently to require the additional parking spaces.

The traffic flow report showed that at the current membership of 160 church members there would be a total of 75 trips to the property on weekdays and 158 trips on Sundays. Church members reside primarily in Coweta and Fayette counties.