Following a recent public hearing, the Duluth City Council, with a split vote, agreed to a zoning change to allow for construction of a 60,000-square-foot church, with a parking lot and detention pond. Council members Carden, Kelkenberg and Whitlock voted for approval of the zoning change. Council members Bomar and Jones voted against.
The Influencers Church, which currently meets at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, is seeking to build on 11.209 acres of undeveloped land at the northeast quadrant of the intersection of Old Peachtree Road and Sugarloaf Parkway. Proposed uses of the structure include church administrative offices, retail uses common in large churches (bookstore or coffee shop), Influencers school outreach, Influencers foster care outreach, nurses appreciation breakfast, and Influencers conference. Potential future uses could include counseling offices, medical facility and offices, Influencers College (SACS accredited learning in partnership with Lee University), music programs, and Influencers Arts Academy.
Questions at the public hearing included concerns about increased traffic, number of parking spaces requested, and whether additional high-end townhomes might be a better use for the land to meet the city’s Comprehensive Plan.