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Watermarke Church Plans Deemed 'In The Best Interest' of Region

The church wants to build a new facility in Woodstock.

A proposal to build a church in the Ridgewalk area has been deemed in the best interest of the region by the state.

Canton-based Watermarke Church's Developments of Regional Impact application submitted in September by the city of Woodstock to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs has been completed and the department has signed off on the plans.

With the ruling in hand, the church is now moving forward with its proposal to build 250,000 square feet of buildings, which would include about 2,400 parking spaces.  

Northpoint Ministries, the developer and affiliate of Watermarke Church, has filed a variance request with the city of Woodstock for 32.5 acres on the south side of Ridgewalk Parkway between Ridge Trail and the Georgia Northeastern Railroad tracks. The land is currently owned by Ridgewalk Holdings, LLC. 

The company wants the city to grant them a variance from its form-based code to allow its buildings to be attached to single story, climate controlled hallways and allow parking to be situated adjacent to the roadway.

The Woodstock Planning Commission will consider the request during its Dec. 6 meeting and the Woodstock City Council will hear the case on Dec. 10. Both meetings start at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Chambers at City Center.

If approved, the church would be located just to the east of the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta development.

The church currently holds services at Cherokee Charter Academy and Gavin Adams, lead pastor at Watermarke Church, told Patch in September the church has outgrown its current home. 

The proposal would accommodate between 2,000 and 3,000 people, Adams said He also noted the church averages about 3,300 people for its weekend services. 

Developments of Regional Impact are described as large-scale projects that would have ripple effects beyond the jurisdictional boundaries in which they reside. 

DCA's process requires each of these developments to be reviewed by the regional commission district it falls in, which in this case would be the Atlanta Regional Commission. The process also calls for the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority to review the project's scope.

The process weighs the impact a project would have on land use, transportation, water supply, waste water disposal, stormwater disposal and the environment.

Projects could be labeled as being in the best interest of the region or state or not. 

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