Adventures in Missions, a Hall County-based organization sending thousands of missionaries to 60 countries around the world each year, has its sights set on expansion.
The organization is seeking a zoning district change from the Hall County Planning Commission to build more office facilities and a larger training campus. The proposal will be brought forward in a commission hearing July 14, according to Steve Dupree, director of operations with Adventures in Missions.
The rezoning would facilitate an addition of 32,000 square feet of office and training space, six campsites, a ropes course and a zip line, plus additional parking and infrastructure to serve the additions.
“We’re actually rezoning at the request of the planning department in Hall County, because of what we’ve been doing,” Dupree said. “We built a building two years ago we call the Lodge that’s about 8,000 square feet, and it’s an administrative building. We were getting some upgrades and updates there, and we were getting ready to build an outdoor pavilion for training and things like that outside.
“The county said, ‘Gosh, you guys are growing. You’re adding some space. We believe, based on what you’re wanting to do long-term, we highly recommend rezoning the property.’”
The zoning change would be from an agricultural-residential zone to a planned office development zone for the 24.97 acres of property off Bogus Road in North Hall, near the intersection with Nopone Road.
Dupree said the POD district is typical for a church, and suitable for the Christian organization.
“We’re really in a residential area of the county,” he said. “We want to do our zoning such that we can get the things done we want to, relative to building more buildings and expanding as we grow.”
The property currently is partially developed, consisting of five structures, parking and associated infrastructure. The undeveloped areas are mostly wooded, with a small pond.
Dupree said the organization is also mindful of its neighbors, and the proposal has been recommended by the commission with conditions regarding noise control and protecting the stream on the property.
“This is all in the vein of being a good neighbor and being properly zoned,” he said.
Adventures in Missions has experienced the greatest growth in the “20-somethings” population, Dupree said, particularly in recent high school graduates taking a “gap year” before starting college.
First-time missionaries undergo training camp on the campus, which the proposed new training materials and campsites would facilitate.
According to the planning commission staff report, there are no known impediments to the proposal’s “successful development for the purposes intended.” Dupree said the projects are part of a 10-year master plan with no immediate timeline.