The Diocese of Orlando has applied to rezone 33 acres it owns on Pleasant Hill Road, across from Bellalago, for institutional use. The rezoning received staff approval Wednesday and is scheduled to go to the Osceola County Planning Commission and County Commissioners in April. The church began assembling the parcels back in 2004, and spent a total of $2.3 million for the acreage. The St. Rose Lima office is located there now.
Eva Barajas, administrative assistant for the church, said the congregation has outgrown its current building on Pompei Drive in Poinciana -- to the point that some mass services are standing room only. Parking has also been a problem -- the new campus would have more than 400 parking spaces.
Barajas told GrowthSpotter the church has sold its building, and hopes to break ground soon on the new facility. "We have to be out of there by April," she said. The congregation has a $2.9 million building fund, according to the most recent church bulletin.
The Diocese filed preliminary construction plans with Osceola County in 2008 for the 33-acre complex. Hanson, Walter & Associates was the engineer of record. According to those plans, the project would be constructed in two phases. The first phase would include a nearly 35,000-square-foot multipurpose building with associated parking, and an outdoor garden with reflecting pool.
The second phase would include the nearly 51,000-square-foot church sanctuary and an 18,000-square-foot school building. A 3,174-square-foot rectory would be built at the rear of the property.
The site plan was amended in May 2008, but it has never been approved by county staff.
Attempts to reach the Diocese' Design and Construction Office on Wednesday were unsuccessful.