St. Olaf Catholic Church Earns Planning Commission Recommendation

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A SUP amendment allowing this traditional facade for St. Olaf Catholic Church in Norge was recommended for approval during the Jan. 6, 2016 Planning Commission meeting. (Image courtesy of JCC)
A SUP amendment allowing this traditional facade for St. Olaf Catholic Church in Norge was recommended for approval during the Jan. 6, 2016 Planning Commission meeting. (Courtesy of James City County)

A recommendation from the James City County Planning Commission brings St. Olaf Catholic Church one step closer to building its new house of worship.

The Commission – with the exception of Tim O’Connor, who serves on the church’s design committee and chose to abstain – voted unanimously to recommend approval of an amendment to the building’s proposed elevations.

Planners originally presented a modern façade that set lower elevations for the building, but a design switch to a traditional façade required a change to the special use permit.

The commissioners praised the Development Review Committee for checking if the change fit with the original special use permit and the applicant for returning to the commission with the new façade design and amendment.

“This does blend much better with not only the intent of the [Norge] Community Character corridor but also the architecture of the buildings nearby,” said Richard Krapf (Powhatan), who called the redesign a “positive change.”

The project, which includes a main church, daily chapel and sacristies, is estimated to cost $4 million to construct and $400,000 to furnish, according to the St. Olaf website.

The Board of Supervisors approve or deny the amendment in February. Construction can begin with the board’s approval. The target opening date is spring 2017.