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Geneva panel OKs church's expansion, but zoning question remains

Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013 4:59 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2013 7:28 p.m. CDT

GENEVA  – The Geneva Plan Commission recently recommended approval of Fox Valley Presbyterian Church’s request for a special-use permit to facilitate an expansion, but the church still will have to go before the Geneva Zoning Board of Appeals.

City planner David DeGroot said the eastside church is scheduled to go before the zoning panel 7 p.m. May 22 because the plan calls for 1.8 percent more lot coverage than is allowed.

The church, at 227 East Side Drive, wants to demolish its existing 6,280-square-foot education area and build a 10,480-square-foot addition in its place, a net gain of 4,200 square feet. Both the existing eduction area and its replacement would all be one story, according to the application.

The new building would include space for religious and preschool education and food preparation on the church’s five-acre property.

“We certainly have outgrown the space that we have for youth and children’s ministry and adult programming and programs that extend out to the community,” Senior Pastor Carl Gray said. “We are expanding to meet the need.”

Church members are packing up the materials in anticipation of the demolition, Gray said. “Our goal is to have everything packed and stored by May 28 and hopefully, we’ll get a building permit on or around June 4,” Gray said.

The church’s community dinners, held the third Friday of every month, will be held elsewhere, he said. “We are not going to be able to hold them at our facility, but we are thankful that, while we will be preparing them, we will be serving them at The Salvation Army,” Gray said. “We will be using their facilities during construction.”

The proposal requires approval from the Committee of the Whole and the City Council.

Over its 57-year history, the church expanded three times  – in the 1960s, 1979 and 1992, according to its application.

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