By Adrienne St. Clair for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
The City of Scottsdale has approved a request by the St. Patrick Catholic Community to build onto the existing St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at the SEC of 84th Street and Desert Cove Avenue.
The expansion will be completed in two phases. While some items of the first phase have already been completed, other Phase 1 tasks include adding additional parking (to lower the number of patrons parking on surrounding streets), converting the building’s water system from septic to sewer and making improvements to the Social Justice & Outreach House and Teen Center. The church has the money to complete these updates, and Phase 1 is expected to be completed in Summer 2019, according to an update the church sent to the congregation in August.
The second phase of the expansion includes building a 25KSF activity center that will provide “much needed large & small meeting spaces, classrooms, etc.” – according to the same August update. The update also noted that there’s “a shortfall of funds to complete Phase 2.” Church members are still fundraising to pay for the second part of the expansion. The original goal was set for $9.6M and the church noted in August it was $2M short.
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church sits on 12.5 acres and is surrounded on the north, east and west by single-family residential space. An office complex borders the property on the south.
The property is currently zoned as Single-Family Residential. According to the submittal, “The site is zoned Single-Family Residential (R1-35) District, which allows detached residential as well as other neighborhood supporting uses, such as parks, schools, and places of worship.” Consequently, there’s no need to change the zoning with the expansion. However, the Scottsdale Development Review Board may still determine whether the design fits within the criteria of the city’s General Plan. The city notes the DRB is not allowed to consider the religious use of the property as part of its decision of whether or not to approve the building’s design.
According to city documents, the church has held two open houses for neighbors and community members. The applicant team, as well as city staff, has also met in smaller groups to address any concerns. Neighbor concerns have included traffic, church patrons parking on surrounding streets and the size of the church property in relation to the surrounding neighborhood.