Planners consider new church plans
A church will get to keep its sanctuary’s heavenly scenic views, but will have to redesign the parking lot of its proposed building.
The Nevada County Planning Commission Thursday voted to continue hearings on a 41,500-square-foot church building proposed by Twin Cities Church. The matter will be brought up again Jan. 23.
Some planning commissioners said they liked the design of the church building that will hold 1,400 people, but they wanted the project to come back with a redesigned parking lot.
The church wanted a 1,000-foot-long parking lot – the length of three football fields – but the board wants the lot to be visually less massive and more pedestrian- friendly.
“I think we’re all pretty much in agreement that we’d like to see a more visually acceptable parking lot,” said Planner Commissioner Sharon Boivin.
The church is seeking a use permit for the project, located at 11726 Rough and Ready Highway, just west of the intersection with Ridge Road.
The planning commissioners didn’t tinker with the building’s location near a ridgeline overlooking Deer Creek. The building’s placement and design would provide scenic views of the snow-capped Sierras from the sanctuary in early spring and fall, when trees have lost their leaves.
Leaving the building’s location unchanged pleased church members, including Senior Pastor Ron Thompson, who said the church wouldn’t be as appealing if it were moved toward the road.
Thompson said the parking lot redesign was fine because every piece of input makes the project better.
County planners have suggested the 45-foot-high church might be visible from across the Deer Creek Valley during winter months when leaves have fallen, and brought up the idea of moving the building toward Rough and Ready Highway. That would also allow parking on all sides of the building, breaking up the large block of parking.
Master zoning plans for the area designate the 21.6-acre site as a church facility site. The church first submitted an application for a building in March.
The 1,300-member congregation currently holds services in the Veterans Building in Grass Valley.
The church is working quickly to redesign the parking lot, said Thompson, and to have it back by Jan. 23. That may allow construction to begin in July 2004, with completion the following September.
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