Ox Hill Baptist Church would like to someday expand its facilities and even build a new sanctuary. So, looking ahead to the future, it's seeking a land rezoning that would allow it to do so.
The 5.7 acres are on the east side of Elmwood Street, near Route 50, across from the Sully Plaza Shopping Center in Chantilly. Church member Bruce McKinley, head of the building project, presented details of the proposals at the May 18 meeting of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee.
Besides a rezoning from R-1 (one home per acre) to a more-intense zoning district that still permits churches as by-right uses, Ox Hill also needs to obtain a special exception for the three activities that will be there — a church, nursery school/child care facility, and health and human services uses.
"OUR COMMUNITY has undergone a transition from homes constructed in the '40s and '50s to new construction," said the Rev. Dean Majette, pastor of Ox Hill Baptist Church. "We wanted our image to conform with the newness of the community around us, so we've already been clearing brush and planting flowers."
As for the building project, no cost estimate was given, but he said it has the congregation's enthusiastic support. Said Majette: "We've already gotten several donations, and we feel like we have the financial resources to do what we're proposing."
The church's four-phase project spans 15-20 years. Phase one would add more parking, install the necessary curb-and-gutter work and take care of stormwater management. Phase two entails construction of a multi-use facility (fellowship hall), plus a kitchen and educational space.
Phase three is the building of a third wing with space for administrative offices, and the fourth and final phase is a new, 950-seat sanctuary. McKinley explained why the new construction is needed.
"The church already operates a 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mothers Day Out program with 60 children and 10 teachers," he said. "It's classified as a child-care center, but the church plans a future expansion of this program."
In addition, said McKinley, Ox Hill has a partnership with the Fairfax County Office of Partnerships, which runs a computer learning center out of the church. But it wants to branch out into health and human services uses there, as well. Furthermore, he added, a senior center is also being proposed for that location because Fairfax County wants to put one there.
He said a third entrance to the church would be added for use during the first three phases of the building project, but would be deleted for phase four. "Phase-one parking will have up to 282 spaces, which will support us through the first three phases," said McKinley. "Final build-out would have 291 parking spaces."
The matter is scheduled to go before the county Planning Commission on Sept. 22. But before then, Ox Hill will return to the WFCCA with further details.