In an unanimous vote, the Fairfax City Council last week approved a second request from the Barcroft Bible Church to build a new sanctuary, education building and gymnasium on the eastern edge of town, opposite Fair City Mall shopping center.
The church is moving to the former site of the Starlit Athletic Center and the Starlit Swim Club. The athletic center's corporate owner, Starlit Fairways Inc., sold the land to the church for $650,000 in June 1984.
The City Council first approved the special use permit for the church to develop on the 15-acre site a year ago, but church members said they were unable to start construction before the permit expired because of funding difficulties.
In October 1983, the church received a special use permit for its planned development from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors because about three acres of the site are in Fairfax City and 12 acres lie in Fairfax County.
County zoning officials said the church has three more months before the county's 18-month permit expires. Then, said county officials, the church will have to apply for another special permit to develop in the mainly residential area.
Richard Fitts, treasurer of the 330-member church, said the building committee is "working as fast as it can to put a financial package together" so the church can start construction of its new sanctuary soon. He said the building committee was relying on independent financial sources as well as the church's funds to support the future buildings costs. He declined to comment further.
The church's construction plans call for a 2,780-seat sanctuary, an education and administration building and a gymnasium. Also, according to the report submitted to the council by the city's planning department, the church expects to increase the size of its congregation "substantially" by gaining new members from Fairfax County and Fairfax City.
Currently, the church is at 915 S. Wakefield St., Arlington.
In other matters, the council:
* Approved changes in the city's Fire and Rescue Services ordinance giving the city's paid fire chief total control over the 97-member squad. Council members agreed to limit the role of the Fire Service Advisory Committee, a six-member support group for the volunteer firefighters, which previously handled personnel disputes between volunteer and paid firefighters. Now, the paid fire chief will handle all personnel matters and other fire and rescue department functions.
The ordinance changes stemmed from the sudden announcement last month that Fairfax City Fire Chief Harold E. (Gene) Dailey will leave his post on June 1. Dailey said he was bothered by the confusion over the separation of powers between the paid fire chief and the city's volunteer fire chief, Deputy Chief Jeffrey Everly.
"The old ordinance was ambiguous -- you just couldn't tell where authority started and stopped," Dailey said earlier.
* Approved a special use permit for Betsy L. Ritchie to operate a day care center in her home at 10613 Center St. According to Ritchie's permit application, the center will care for a maximum of five children, from birth to age 12, and will operate from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
* Approved a special use permit for Fairfax City Councilman Glenn L. White to operate a management consultant business from his home at 10600 Howerton Ave.