Geneva church seeks special use to expand

Published: Monday, April 8, 2013 5:33 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – Fox Valley Presbyterian Church on Geneva's east side is seeking a special-use permit to expand its church.

The Geneva Plan Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the request at 7 p.m. Thursday at the council chambers, 109 James St., Geneva.

According to its application, the church, at 227 East Side Drive, proposes to demolish its existing 6,280-square-foot, one-story education area and build a 10,480-square-foot, one-story addition in its place, a net gain of 4,200 square feet. The new building would include space for religious and preschool education and food preparation, but it would not increase the sanctuary's seating capacity of 406.

Though religions institutions are permitted in a residential district by special use, Fox Valley Presbyterian is considered a nonconforming use. The city's zoning ordinance does not allow a nonconforming use to expand – which is why the church is requesting a special-use permit.

The permit would bring the existing church into conformity and allow expansion.

According to a staff review, the church's request is consistent with the city's comprehensive plan nor will it diminish the value or use of nearby properties. The state review also noted the expansion would not result in more traffic, as the church is not expanding its preschool enrollment nor its sanctuary capacity. Staff will provide a recommendation to the plan commission after the public hearing is concluded.

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Jan Schlictmann at a Geneva law firm.

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