Albemarle Planning Commission approves expansion of Point Church’s Pantops plans

The Albemarle County Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved an expansion of ongoing construction on Hansen Road. 

The Point Church purchased the parcel — located directly behind Rivanna Ridge shopping Center — in May 2018 for the construction of a worship building. Since its 2009 inception, The Point Church has held its services at Monticello High School; however, the more than 1,000-person congregation will relocate to Pantops upon the construction’s completion. 

Initially approved to allow 20,000 square feet for office use, the church sought to amend its application for two buildings totaling 55,000 square feet — 30,000 square feet for a worship building and 25,000 square feet for office use. The proposed change is consistent with the updated Pantops Master Plan, which was approved during a June 19 Board of Supervisors meeting

During a public comment period, residents of the adjacent Carriage Hill neighborhood expressed concerns about increased downhill traffic, water runoff, parking and the viewshed. 

Justin Shimp, of Shimp Engineering — the applicant presenting the proposed amendment — said that the current construction site has already met stormwater standards outlined by the county. 

“County engineers looked specifically at this site for the amount of impervious coverage, and [the site] has met those standards,” Shimp said. 

He also assured residents that their viewshed would not be seriously affected — a buffer between Carriage Hill and the construction site remains proffered as a tree preservation area. In reference to parking and traffic concerns, Shimp noted that 206 spaces have been allotted, with room to grow another 40-50 spaces. Rolkin Road also will be widened in to build on-street parking. 

The application now heads to the Board of Supervisors.