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Thread: Church incubator

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Church incubator

    In my community churches are conditional uses in the zones in which they are allowed. There are good reasons for that relating to traffic, noise, ancillary uses, etc. But we have run into situations in which a start-up group is renting an existing storefront in a strip mall for their "church." I am reluctant to put them through the whole CUP process for a small building that already exists. But I seem to have no choice. Do other communities distinguish between churches in new buildings and churches in existing buildings? Or have different rules for different sizes of buildings or congregations?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Feb 1998
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    Greensburg, Kansas
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    What does your building code say about places of public assembly? There might be a threshhold. We had a fellow come in who wanted to re-establish his "church" using part of his residence. We found out there were 5 families involved. The building inspector said that is not a church, rather it was a home where twice a week friends come by to do whatever.

    I hope your codes allow some administrative flexibility with interpretations, or that your board can.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    In my community churches are conditional uses in the zones in which they are allowed. There are good reasons for that relating to traffic, noise, ancillary uses, etc. But we have run into situations in which a start-up group is renting an existing storefront in a strip mall for their "church." I am reluctant to put them through the whole CUP process for a small building that already exists. But I seem to have no choice. Do other communities distinguish between churches in new buildings and churches in existing buildings? Or have different rules for different sizes of buildings or congregations?
    IME quite often the strip mall is hurting for tenants and a church could keep the doors open and the bank away. So depending upon your point of view, that is a selling point or non-starter and your Council knows this already. Whether you want to waive the CUP despite the use being changed is a local decision, but if the congregation meets during non-retail hours...
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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