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Geneva City Council approves Presbyterian church expansion

Published: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 6:28 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – The Geneva City Council unanimously approved a special-use permit for Fox Valley Presbyterian Church’s expansion plans Monday, after the church and a neighbor worked out their concerns.

Aldermen acting as the Committee of the Whole last week approved the church’s expansion plans on the condition that it work out some issues with a residential neighbor regarding noise and privacy.

An agreement was reached that the church would install an open-style wrought aluminum fence around the eastern boundary.

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 church needed a special permit because it is considered a nonconforming use under the city’s zoning code.

Andrew Mayer, of the 800 block of Longmeadow Drive, said he was concerned about more noise and the increased use of the church by a second congregation.

“We were interested in being good neighbors, and I think we were able to come to a mutual agreement that addressed his concerns,” said the Rev. Bart Roush, pastor of adult ministries at the church.

Fox Valley Presbyterian also hosts a Latino congregation, Fruto de Vida, translated as Fruit of Life, with about 200 members.

“They worship in our sanctuary and use the building for music classes and Bible study,” Roush said. 

“That was one of the other concerns – I don’t always know who is supposed to be back there,” Mayer said. “The solution was to erect the fence to make sure the people who are there are supposed to be there.”

“This gives me a great peace of mind that the people I see using the property are supposed to be there.”

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