Jefferson leaders are going to set a meeting between Jefferson United Methodist Church members and area residents opposed to the expansion plans by the church.
The city council voted Monday night to set up this meeting and postpone any action on the zoning request from the church.
Before taking this action, councilman Steve Kinney and David Varnedoe voted to approve the request. This motion failed when the other council members, Roy Plott, C.D. Kidd and Bosie Griffith, voted against it. Plott then made the motion to postpone any further action until the church and community meet to discuss the project. All of the council members except for Varnedoe voted in favor of postponing action.
Mayor Jim Joiner asked Plott what the goal of the meeting will be and what he hopes is accomplished. Plott replied that “stipulations and conditions” of the project would be discussed.
Jefferson UMC is asking to rezone 3.7 acres at Colley Street and Storey Street to O-I (office institutional) with construction of a family life center and 225 additional parking along the plans. Plans are for the 3.7 acres to be combined with two adjacent parcels that are already zoned O-I. Further phases of the project call for two more buildings — a sanctuary and an education building.
The rezoning is expected to be on the agenda again for action when the council meets at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, at the civic center. The meeting between the community members and church has not been set up yet but it occur before the voting session of the city council.
Does the City of Jefferson not realize what this proposed project is going to do to this Neighborhood? I drove by this proposed area
and cannot believe a Church does not care enough about its surroundings to plan such an expansion. 225 parking spaces? You have to been kidding? Kroger has at least 200 parking spaces? Jefferson is a quaint town. What the Church is proposing is insane. They are going to clear cut trees? Does anyone realize how unattractive this will be? Hello? Wake up Jefferson! If we continue to pave everything in sight and let Churches do what they want when they want, we are going to become a concrete jungle? Does anyone care? What happened to Churches taking care of their Community, not destroying it.