Congregation asks supervisors for permission to build ball fields in floodplains


Worshipers at Temple Baptist Church are asking county supervisors to let them build sports fields in a floodplain next to their new church in Kincora.

During a public hearing of the Board of Supervisors on December 9, church officials asked supervisors to consider a request for a zoning and special exception concept amendment to build baseball diamonds and football in an area considered to be part of a large floodplain. The 2019 General Plan does not support active recreational uses, such as a baseball diamond, on major floodplains.

A total of 16 community members spoke at the hearing, largely in favor of the recreation grounds under construction.

“Building the ball fields is very important – the sports programs have been a blessing for me and my family,” said faithful Drew Gardner.

But there are environmental issues around these fields, which David Durham acknowledged when he noted that the fields were “an ideal location for our church with a less than ideal footprint.”

Evan McCarthy, speaking on behalf of the Piedmont Environmental Council, urged the board to reconsider ball field locations due to potential pollutants in runoff and contamination of surface water.

While the board won’t vote on the request until its next meeting on January 19, at least two supervisors, Supervisor Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn) and Supervisor Caleb A. Kershner (R-Leesburg), have made it clear. that they support the fields under construction.

“Are we breaking the rules?” Yes, we are bending the rules, but I am delighted to support this app, ”Turner said.

However, not all board members were convinced.

“I am wary of anything that rises outside of a floodplain. I don’t want to see more pollution, ”said supervisor Kristen C. Umstatdd (D-Leesburg).

Supervisor Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian) raised concerns that it could become a choice issue to support the church or the environment.

“We are not against the church. We have policies in place and we have to follow them, ”said Briskman. “I’m worried about the slippery slope, that [we] allow breaking the rules.


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