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Thread: A new church? Not in their backyard.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    A new church? Not in their backyard.

    Headline and Article from the NY Times.
    By Robert Johnson Published: April 3, 2005
    Site requires registration: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/03/re...te/03nati.html

    Hightlights:

    "After fleeing city congestion, pollution and blight, both the churches and the homeowners are clamoring for their rights in yet another Promised Land. In most instances, the opposing homeowners got there first.

    "People in small towns don't like change," Mr. McMahon said. "They get so used to fighting against commercial and industrial development that a new church is just another big building with a parking lot to them."

    ...where churches or synagogues are supposed to go. "Congregations are being told they aren't wanted in residential areas because of the noise and traffic," he said. "But they aren't welcome in commercial areas because they don't generate tax revenue, or in rural areas because they might have an impact on the environment. That doesn't leave many locations."

    ...congregation would have plenty of ammunition, including the First Amendment and the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, which prohibits regulations that impose a "substantial burden" on churches.

    Yet officials of expanding churches are wary of achieving their rights at the cost of lingering community bitterness. "This kind of thing is emotionally difficult for both sides," said Bill Egner, executive pastor of Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, Tex. "After it's over, you still have to live there." "
    Oddball
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    It's a valid concern. Churches do draw large amounts of traffic.

  3. #3

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    Especially the current "megachurches" so popular in the exurbs (good short article in the New York Times Magazine last Sunday). When you have 5,000 congregates, they have an impact-especially because the "shopping mall of services (the Time's term, not mine) means seven days a week use.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    I'm not sure about over in the States but here in Australia we are still mainly limited to monday-saturday trading and and most Christian churches still have their main services on Sundays. Surely the logical thing is to allow the two to utilise the same parking facilities, be it a car park or onstreet?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chukky
    I'm not sure about over in the States but here in Australia we are still mainly limited to monday-saturday trading and and most Christian churches still have their main services on Sundays. Surely the logical thing is to allow the two to utilise the same parking facilities, be it a car park or on street?
    Chukky, that's way too rational for the idiotic laws and notions we have in this country.

    On-street parking? The church-goers will piss on my lawn.

    This is the Nation of Nimbys, and zoning's their Mother Hen.
    Last edited by ablarc; 03 Apr 2005 at 11:25 AM.

  6. #6
    Member Lizerbita's avatar
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    We have a church around the corner with a parking lot that is far too small. I can remember one particular sunday the day after a blizzard when churchgoers parked in the freshly cleared spots of residents. There was talk of shoveling snow back onto the cars, icing them over with garden hoses, and other things I won't mention. On our street, people have just enough space to park in front of their own houses and you know who parks where. Services at that church usually run for four hours. It was getting ugly...

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    It says a lot...

    …about the sorry state of car dependency in N.A. that a CHURCH can cause traffic/parking issues. In any reasonable neighborhood, presumably the vast majority of people should be able to WALK to church. Also, isn’t Sunday a low-parking use day?
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    …about the sorry state of car dependency in N.A. that a CHURCH can cause traffic/parking issues. In any reasonable neighborhood, presumably the vast majority of people should be able to WALK to church. Also, isn’t Sunday a low-parking use day?

    Not necessarily for residents in a residential neighborhood.

    ablarc: we do allow churches to share parking with adjoining/cotenant industrial and commercial uses.

    You are missing the point about suburban megamalls I mean megachurches with 5,000 members and activities every day. And, no, these exurban seekers do not live in the neighborhood and wouldn't walk even if they did. The whole "marketing plan" for the megamalls ...oops. megachurches is the same as WalMart or a lifestyle center-draw like minded members from thoughout the metropolitan area. And, the "Church Bus" is an obsolete institution for most congregations.

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