LYNCHBURG, Va. -

Campbell County supervisors Tuesday night narrowly approved an expansion plan for Timberlake Christian Schools.

Supervisors voted 4-3 to approve a special use permit.  The permit allows the schools to build a sports complex.  Other work on the site was already allowed under current zoning regulations.

The school says it plans to move forward with the expansion right away.

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Newly acquired land is creating fresh opportunities for leaders of Timberlake Christian School.

Last year they purchased a 19-acre lot next to their main campus.

"We were land locked," said school administrator, Jeff Abbett.  "When the opportunity came up to buy the property, it seemed like an obvious choice."

School leaders want to build new housing units for their international students, and a soccer stadium with lights and a running track.
   
Since the campus is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood, school officials say they've crafted all their plans with their neighbors in mind.

"Respecting our neighbors, meeting their concerns, and meeting their needs is part of what we would like to do," Abbett said.

But not all of their neighbors are satisfied.

The sports complex will come within 20 feet of Jeanette Creasy's back yard.

"It's very sad for me to think about what will happen," said Creasy.

For more than 35 years, Creasy has looked at trees behind her home.  She says the stadium will destroy her view and bring added traffic to her street.

"I would like Timberlake Christian School to keep growing, without the invasion of people's privacy," Creasy said.

"There's a certain character to this neighborhood that we're trying to preserve," said Alexi Anastasio, who worries the new stadium will compromise nearby Tomahawk Creek.

"The proposed use is extremely intrusive and goes against or destroys the character of the neighborhood," Anastasio said.

Even if Timberlake Christian doesn't build its stadium, Abbett says the wooded land neighbors cherish won't stay vacant for long.

Developers have already contacted the school, wanting to build a townhouse community on the site.

Abbett believes an athletic complex would be less intrusive.

"We are certainly striving to do what we can to be good neighbors to everyone," Abbett said.

The school needs a special use permit from the Campbell County Board of Supervisors to move forward with construction of the stadium.

The board will meet Tuesday afternoon to consider the school's request.  The meeting is at 5:30 at the Haberer Building in Rustburg.