Home Page

The two Calvary Worship Center buildings are shown, with a portion of the parking lot in the foreground on the 5 1/2-acre site. At left is the newer facility that opened in 2007; at right is the converted, 1950s-era supermarket building that the church still uses. The new proposal would demolish the older structure, add onto the more recent building and construct a new worship center about where the old one is now. Also, about 200 parking spaces would be added on 3 acres the church owns east of the currently used property.
Westside Pioneer photo

Calvary Worship Center expansion plan at neighborhood meeting July 10

       A major expansion proposal by the Calvary Worship Center will be the subject of a neighborhood meeting Thursday, July 10.
       It will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the church's Youth Center building. The church is off King and 30th streets. The formal address is 505 Castle Road.
       According to Calvary's submittal to the city, the Westside church off King and 30th streets needs more space to keep up with a growing ministry. Plans call for a three-phase project, consisting of an addition to the six-year-old main building on the current 5˝-acre church site, demolition of a 1950s-era building on the property that the church now uses, construction of a new worship center in its spot (with over twice the seating) and an increase in parking to add nearly 200 more spaces.

ABOVE: A view east from the current Calvary Worship Center parking lot shows the church's 3-acre hillside property where a parking lot is planned. The existing neighborhood along Willamette is at right, with other homes visible at the top of the hill at left, off King Street. BELOW: A graphic depicts the three phases of the planned project.
Westside Pioneer photo (above); courtesy of Calvary Worship Center and City Land Use Review (below)
       At a previous neighborhood meeting in May, the parking aspect drew the most concern from residents, according to Mike Schultz, the city planner assigned to the project. Calvary plans to add to its current paved lot, expanding it east into a 3-acre hillside parcel that Calvary owns behind Willamette and Wilhelmia avenues. Established neighborhoods exist to the north and south of the acreage.
       A developer had proposed building six duplexes there in 2006 (the Victorian Heights subdivision), but was denied when neighbors convinced City Council there was a hillside slippage risk.
       “Some residents were

neutral but mostly opposed and/or wanting more information,” Schultz said, when asked about the May meeting. “A lot of them were around for the Victorian Heights proposal.” He added that “several residents” asked about the hillside slippage issue.
       The drawings in the submittal show only the lower part of the hill (just above Willamette and Wilhelmia) being graded for parking. Retaining walls would handle the slope. Trees and shrubs would provide a sight buffer.
       Schultz said that city staff is reviewing all elements of the project. “I will be paying close attention to the grading and slope issues on the east side of the site as well as how traffic may impact the neighborhood,” he commented in a recent e-mail.
       In Calvary's project statement (part of its submittal), architect Gregory Haddon writes that “the ministry organization is experiencing growth and desires to expand its facilities to meet the demands of this growth as well as to attend to the needs of the community through its ministry.”
       The project would be the second major expansion for Calvary, which has been at its current address since 1998 and may already be the biggest church on the Westside. In 2007, completing a $3 million project, the church opened a new, 27,000-square-foot worship center - including space for a 750-seat sanctuary, offices, classrooms bookstore and coffee shop - just north of a 16,000-square-foot, building (a converted supermarket believed to have been constructed in the 1950s) where it had formerly conducted all its activities. The older building is still used for the youth ministry.
       The architect's description explains that the expansion would occur in three phases, as follows (the desired years are in parentheses):
       - Phase 1, parking (this year) - “In the short term, this will be needed to facilitate the building construction, providing usable parking while some parking areas are utilized for construction staging and materials storage. In the long term, the added parking will support the future new worship center building with increased seating capacity. Under the previous development plan approval, 263 parking spaces were planned for. Phase 1 will increase the parking to 454 spaces.”
       - Phase 2, building expansion/replacement (2015) - “This first construction effort will replace the uses of the existing (southerly) youth ministries building [the converted supermarket], which is in disrepair. The building has been evaluated by experts and it has been determined the best course of action is to demolish and replace the building… [The youth ministries] uses will be relocated to the new building addition and the classrooms will be increased in size and quantity. The new addition will be two stories and add approximately 20,400 square feet. No additional seating at the main worship center space will be provided, therefore, there will be no impact on the required off-street parking.”
       - Phase 3, building expansion/new worship center (2020) - After demolition of the former supermarket building, “the new worship center area will be constructed to the south, furthering the expansion in that direction. One thousand eight hundred seats are desired in the new worship center facility. Additionally, a bookstore, food pantry and staff support areas will be provided. The existing worship center space will be converted to a fellowship hall/recreational area (basketball, volleyball). A new kitchen will be provided as a part of the remodel to support gatherings and as an outreach opportunity to the community. Additional site renovations will occur with this phase in order to maximize off-street parking. The construction will be two stories and add approximately 50,000 square feet.”
       The application to the city formally requests approval of:
       - A zone change from PBC (planned business center) and R-2 (two-family residential) to PUD (planned unit development). The PUD would allow for religious institution (and secondary uses associated with the church) and allow a maximum 45-foot building height and allow a maximum 45-foot building height (similar to the current PBC zone).
       - A PUD development plan for the entire property and the work involved in the three phases.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 7/3/14; Land: Proposals)

Would you like to respond to this article? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)