Heart Cry one step closer to building church in Queen Creek

Pastor Billy Van Camp plans to continue the Heart Cry Cowboy Church services, above, held Sunday nights at Horseshoe Park Equestrian Centre after the proposed Heart Cry Church building is constructed. Queen Creek planning and zoning commissioners approved the church’s site plan at their Oct. 14 meeting. (Special to the Independent/Heart Cry Church)

Pastor Billy Van Camp plans to continue the Heart Cry Cowboy Church services, above, held Sunday nights at Horseshoe Park Equestrian Centre after the proposed Heart Cry Church building is constructed. Queen Creek planning and zoning commissioners approved the church’s site plan at their Oct. 14 meeting. (Special to the Independent/Heart Cry Church)

 

The Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission introduced three new commissioners and approved the site plan for a proposed church building during its Oct. 14 regular meeting.

Incoming commissioners Shaine Alleman, Chris Webb and Nichelle Williams were formally briefed about their role on the commission during the P&Z work study session that began at 6 p.m. in the town hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road. The trio were officially appointed by the Queen Creek Town Council during the council’s Sept. 16 meeting.

The Planning and Zoning Commission advises the town council in decisions pertaining to amendments to the General Plan, the Zoning Ordinance and applications for development, according to the town’s website. Its members also review and make recommendations regarding changes to the General Plan land use map. The planning commission hears, reviews and makes recommendations regarding all applications for subdivision site plans, specific plans and phased and conditional use permit applications.

At the P&Z work study session, Queen Creek Planning Administrator Brett Burningham conducted a training session for the commissioners that addressed conflict of interest. In addition, he and Queen Creek Development Services Director Chris Anaradian explained the role of the planning commission to the new members, according to the meeting video. The agenda, information packet and video may be viewed on the town’s website.

Outgoing commissioners Susan Denton, Ryan Nichols and Kyle Robinson were recognized by the town during the commission’s regular meeting that followed the work study session. In addition, the commission reelected Steve Ingram as chairman and elected Alex Matheson vice chairman for the upcoming year. Gregory Arrington, the outgoing vice chairman, nominated Mr. Matheson for the vice chairman position. Mr. Arrington will continue to serve as a commissioner. Commissioner Steve Sossaman was not present at the meeting.

The Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission on Oct. 14 approved the site plan for a 19,000-square-foot church building Heart Cry Church has proposed on the southeast corner of Hunt Highway and Sossaman Road. David Franklin of Franklin Architects told the commissioners during the meeting that the church has a residential look, with a tile roof and stone and wood beams on its facade. (Special to the Independent/Town of Queen Creek)

The Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission on Oct. 14 approved the site plan for a 19,000-square-foot church building Heart Cry Church has proposed on the southeast corner of Hunt Highway and Sossaman Road. David Franklin of Franklin Architects told the commissioners during the meeting that the church has a residential look, with a tile roof and stone and wood beams on its facade. (Special to the Independent/Town of Queen Creek)

 

Church site plan approved
The commission voted 6-0 to approve SP15-013, a site plan for a proposed building for Heart Cry Church that has been requested by developer Jeff Wimmer of East Valley Engineering and Development, according to the meeting agenda. The next step is for the church to submit a construction plan to the town’s building safety department, Sarah Mertins, the town’s planning assistant, said during a phone interview.

The site plan included landscape plans and building elevations for a 19,000-square-foot church building with 180 parking spaces being proposed on a 15-acre site on the southeast corner of Hunt Highway and Sossaman Road, according to the information packet.

The land surrounding the site is zoned as county land to the north, residential use to the south, the Goldmine Estates subdivision to the east and county land to the west. The site would have vehicular access from Hunt Highway via one driveway.

The plans include a 600-seat worship area, a playground area and elementary and young adult learning classrooms. Services would be held on Sundays with a few church activities held throughout the week.

The proposed project is in compliance with the town’s General Plan and no zoning changes were proposed.

The project is challenged by the presence of earth fissures, which are long, narrow cracks or openings in the earth that are associated with land subsidence that accompanies extensive ground water pumping, according to the town’s website.

The church has proposed orienting its building a significant distance from the fissures, according to the information packet. The locations of the fissures were identified in a report from an independent geotechnical engineering firm hired by the church.

David Franklin of Phoenix-based Franklin Architects, who designed the church building, told the commissioners that the site’s lighting is shielded and emits 0 lumen, which means no light will shine outside the church’s property lines, he said.

He described the building exterior as residential in character. According to the artist’s rendering of the facade provided in the commission packet, the building will feature a tiled roof, with stone and wood beams in varying shades of brown on its facade.

Heart Cry Church has been serving Queen Creek and the surrounding communities for about 11 years, Pastor Billy Van Camp said during a phone interview. The church has about 500 congregants and about 400-500 attend the Sunday services, he said.

Heart Cry Church does not have a dedicated church building and holds Sunday services at various locations in the town. They include two morning services at Newell Barney Middle School, 24937 S. Sossaman Road in Queen Creek, and a 6 p.m. cowboy church service at Horseshoe Park Equestrian Centre, 20464 E. Riggs Road in Queen Creek.

Pastor Van Camp said he plans to continue holding the cowboy church services at Horseshoe Park after the building, if approved by the town, is constructed. He said he plans to hold the two Sunday morning services — a 9 a.m. service with a traditional choir and hymns and a 10:30 a.m. praise service — at the new building.

He said some residents have expressed their concern to him about the amount of traffic that could be created by the new church. He said he told them most of the activity would take place on Sundays, and that he estimated the traffic would be less than if he were to build houses on the land.

The Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month at the town hall. Work study sessions, if scheduled, begin at 6 p.m. and are following by regular meetings at 7 p.m.

For meeting dates, agendas and information packets, visit the Calendar tab on the town’s website.

For more information, call 480-358-3000.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.