CONYERS — A church congregation in South Rockdale looking to develop a ball park on church property got a nod from the Conyers-Rockdale Planning Commission last week.
The Planning Commission recommended approval of a special use permit for a ball field and future pavilion at Haven Fellowship Church, located at 2240 SW Smyrna Road. The final decision will be up to the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners.
One resident who lives adjacent to the church property expressed concern about noise that would be generated by the recreational facility, but Planning Commission members decided there was enough of a buffer between the two properties to minimize potential noise.
Dave Buser, representing the church, told planners that there are about 150 members of the church, many of whom are young couples with children who could make use of a play area.
“Quite frankly, we’d just like to have some places where they could go out and play ball,” he said.
Resident Samantha John said she lives directly adjacent to the church property on 6 acres where she raises horses. John said she spends a great deal of time outdoors in the evenings and on weekends and is concerned about the noise.
“It is a major concern to me,” she said. “I bought the property for the peace and quiet; it’s my sanctuary.”
Buser said he couldn’t make any promises about the amount of noise that would be generated by children at the ball field, but he said the church would be a good neighbor.
Buser did say the church had no plans to hold organized team play at the ball field.
Planners noted that a wooded area, parking lot and church sanctuary separate the ball field area from John’s property.
Planning and Development Director Marshall Walker told commissioners the special use permit would limit use of the recreational facility to between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Commissioners briefly considered placing additional time restrictions on use of the facility, but Walker said he didn’t think that would be necessary.
“I certainly understand how kids’ voices travel,” said Walker. “But this is about as far away on this property as you can get from the neighbor on the other side of the parking lot. Staff just doesn’t see any real need at this point to restrict them. If they are too loud, if we get complaints, we will go out and talk with them. They have been very cooperative — the church has.”