MILTON, Ga. — Plans for a new activity center at Ebenezer United Methodist Church moved one step closer June 24 when the Milton Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of two variance requests.
One member, Marty Lock, was not at the meeting.
The church, on the corner of Arnold Mill Road and Cox Road, seeks to build a 23,000-square-foot activity center, which includes a pavilion and outdoor fireplace, on its existing property. That center would be used for numerous church and community activities.
“There’s a rich history with Ebenezer within the community,” said applicant representative Regie Elkins. “The goal that the church gave us is to make sure that we keep the character of the church and of Milton in the design. Because of that, the activity center is designed similar to a barn. It’s also a design with the intent to not only use it for church activities but a place for community activities as well, such as weddings, barbecues and funerals.”
The application was previously deferred at the February Planning Commission meeting to allow the applicant to revise the site plans. All of the subsequent monthly planning meetings through May were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At issue at the June meeting was activity center parking.
The applicant asked for two variances: to reduce required parking from 220 to 144 spots and to allow for parking in the front of the building. Currently, the church property has 27 parking spots.
City Zoning Manager Robyn MacDonald said the church had analyzed the parking needs of its congregation at its busiest times to help determine the number of required spots. She added that at any time, staff usually tries to reduce the number and intensity of variances requested.
MacDonald said in the event that the church needs overflow parking, it has an agreement with Porter Academy across Cox Road to use its parking as needed.
The proposal was accepted as presented with one change: deliveries to the facility would be limited to from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Milton City Council will have final say on the variances when they consider them at a meeting in the coming weeks.