Planning Commission OKs plans for church fellowship hall

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 6, 2017

TROY — Plans for a new, free-standing fellowship hall at St. Petka Serbian Orthodox Church will proceed after the Troy Planning Commission approved preliminary site plans and a special use request needed to construct the 12,800-square-foot building. 

St. Petka is located on Wattles Road, west of John R Road, just south of Athens High School, and was constructed 14 years ago. The church and school share a drive. 

The Planning Commission voted 8-0 to approve the request to build the multipurpose fellowship hall at its Nov. 28 meeting. Planning Commissioner Carlon Faison was absent. 

Ben Carlisle, of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant, told the Planning Commission that the building is free-standing, rather than an addition, because they don’t want to block the altar by constructing an addition from the east side of the building, the only place on the site where it would fit. 

Ken Antovski, spokesman for the church, told the Planning Commission that the hall will only be used by church members — for weddings, baptisms, holiday celebrations and church programs. 

He said church officials spoke with neighbors and haven’t received any feedback against the project. 

Jim Laplante, who lives adjacent to the site, on Wattles Road, said he had not received anything in the mail about the development. He said he’s had issues with his backyard flooding since the church was constructed. 

His wife, Janice Laplante, said she has concerns about noise in the late hours from events held at the fellowship hall. 

Antovski said he’s never noticed any ponding in the church parking lot. 

“Show me when you get one of those days,” he said in response to Jim Laplante. “We don’t want to cause any problems for neighbors.” 

Planning Commissioner Tom Krent noted that there is a lot of construction happening in that immediate area.

“It has to be engineered so it doesn’t exacerbate existing conditions,” said Troy Planning Director R. Brent Savidant. He noted that any activity “has to comply with the noise ordinance,” which restricts noise levels between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.