Virginia Beach Planning Commission supports plans for growing St. John the Apostle

This artist’s rendering included in a city planning report shows a proposed social hall at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church. A number of improvements are planned for the church and school. [Via City of Virginia Beach Planning Department]

VIRGINIA BEACH — St. John the Apostle Catholic Church & School are growing and seek approval for a phased expansion to a nearly 11-acre campus in the Red Mill area.

The church and school are seeking approvals for several improvements at the property, including a social hall addition, more classroom space and a small chapel. According to a city planning report, St. John the Apostle also will build a columbarium and memorial area, and it aims to add additional parking and improve traffic flow.

Plans for the church along Sandbridge Road near Red Mill moved a step closer to approval on Wednesday, Jan. 13, when the Virginia Beach Planning Commission voted, 10-0, to recommend that the City Council approve the plans. 

During a staff presentation earlier that morning, Planning Commissioner Don Horsley, who is an at-large member of the body, spoke supportively of the plans. 

“I think they’ve done a good job down there,” he said.

City staff recommended approval of the project, with some conditions, according to the staff report prepared by Marchelle Coleman, a city planner. The application is expected to go before the City Council in February.

“I thank the city for all their diligent effort for ensuring the proper protocol for expansion of the Sandbridge area,” said the Rev. Rob Cole, pastor of the church, in a telephone interview following the vote. “We look forward to working with city in the future as we break out each phase of the plan.”

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