JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Parishioners of St. Brigid’s Catholic Church filled the Johns Creek City Council chambers Monday night to petition for an expansion of the 4,000-member church on Old Alabama Road at Brumbelow Road. They got the answer they wanted to hear when the City Council approved the plan unanimously.
The church was there to petition the city for approval of a new expansion plan that would allow a new three-story, 48,000-square-foot multi-purpose building and a two-story parking deck on an additional 2 acres the church recently acquired.
The purchase of the house and lot next door will allow St. Brigid some much needed “elbow room” and in return for the approval of the new addition, the church agreed to downsize the previously approved expansion of the property so that the net of both improvements will only be 22,000 square feet.
The church was also granted an additional right-in, right-out curb cut on Old Alabama.
The 191-space, two-story parking deck was the only part of the plan challenged. The church said it would build the deck on the western end of the property facing Old Alabama, but embed it in the slope of the grade that exists there, so that only the second story of the deck would be visible from Old Alabama Road.
“It will look like only a surface parking lot from Old Alabama and that will be about 8 feet below the grade of the road,” said St. Brigid attorney Woody Galloway.
The church has agreed to add additional landscaping along Old Alabama to screen the new development from the road.
The 27-acre campus with an aggregate of 129,570 square feet will now contain:
- A 50,174-square-foot church with a planned 7,400-square-foot expansion for office space.
- A future 24,000-square-foot building.
- The proposed 48,000-square-foot building for meeting rooms, classrooms and child care.
- The 191-space parking deck.
- An existing parsonage will remain.
The Queensbury subdivision on Brumbelow Road did object to the parking deck. Jerry Sevy, vice president of the Queensbury Homeowner Association said the 191 spaces would represent an expansion of the use of the existing campus and provide for “future” expansion of uses.
Sevy said the introduction of a parking deck was an unconstitutional use since in that area there are no other parking decks on Old Alabama. Queensbury also objected that both stories of the parking deck would be visible to motorists and pedestrians on Brumbelow Road.
Galloway countered that the parking decks do not create more traffic. Rather, they capture the traffic that is already coming. As for the visibility to Brumbelow, he noted the parking deck was on the opposite end of the church campus, some 500 feet from the road. That is more than the length of one-and-a-half football fields, he said.