Despite the objections of several residents, planning commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a new church and eventually a new school in southeast Carson City.
Calvary Chapel of Carson City is planning a five-phase construction project that would begin with a nearly 20,000-square-foot church on about 9.25 acres on Clearview Drive, and eventually include 17,000 square feet of extra classroom space, a 32,000-square-foot K-8 school and a playfield and pavilion.
Neighboring residents all supported a new church, but some objected to the school, which would be built as funds are raised - possibly taking as long as 10 years, according to assistant Pastor Garry Leist.
The surrounding area is zoned residential with one-acre lots. Putting a school in the middle of it, which would produce traffic twice a day for five days a week, wouldn't fit in with the area, said Hillview Drive resident Richard Doke.
"If this looks a little like spot zoning, it probably is," he said.
Neighbors also complained that a school would compound the congestion of already-busy Clearview Drive.
Mary Byington objected to the idea of a school so close to her home.
"I've lived across from a church that had a school, and it was not a good thing," she said.
She said, while picking children up from school, parents often pull off the side of the road and wait for their kids, rather than actually entering the parking lot, and that takes away from residents' privacy.
"I object to having to deal with that again," Byington added.
Planning Commission chairman John Peery told the residents he was sympathetic. But he said cities all over the nation are growing and becoming more dense, calling it a "trend of the future."
"We are just one of those municipalities that are dealing with this," Peery said.
The commission and Calvary Church officials also encouraged neighboring residents to work with the church as the school is built and guidelines are set for it.
n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217