Prince William County has approved an expansion for the Sikh Center of Virginia.
During its meeting Tuesday, the Board of County Supervisors unanimously approved a special-use permit for the facility near Manassas.
Sikhism, which was founded in the Punjab region of Southeast Asia, has about 25 million followers and is the world’s fifth-largest religion, according to the Sikh Coalition. Sikhs first came to the United States in the late 1800s, and an estimated 500,000 followers are estimated to live in the country, according to the coalition.
The Sikh Center of Virginia, at 8015 Buckhall Road, was built in 1973. The existing building is 6,800 square feet with 54 parking spaces.
The organization plans to expand to 36,000 square feet with 152 parking spaces. The new facility will include space for Sunday school services, as well as a two-story main hall, a dining area, an organic garden and a rectory for three priests.
The project required a special-use permit because the existing facility predates the county’s zoning ordinance and is therefore a nonconforming use. Changes to structures that are nonconforming uses require a subsequent rezoning or special-use permit to align with the ordinance.
The maximum allowed building height with the permit is 40 feet. The project will have a 30-foot landscape buffer.
Estimated vehicle trips on Sundays are expected to increase from 182 to 304 at full buildout.
No one spoke at a public hearing before the board’s vote.