After several months of debate, a controversial rezoning for a church expansion project at Jefferson United Methodist Church was approved Wednesday afternoon by the city council.
The council approved the request from Jefferson UMC 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 spaces among 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.
Councilman Bosie Griffith made the motion to approve the rezoning request and C.D. Kidd seconded it. Also voting in favor of the request were council members Roy Plott and Steve Kinney. Councilman Kathy DuBose recused herself from voting on the issue.
The request was postponed in January until the issue of whether it would be a conflict of interest for DuBose to vote was resolved. City attorney Ronnie Hopkins recommended that DuBose recuse herself from voting since she and her husband retained a lawyer before she took office on the matter. The attorney spoke at several recent council meetings in opposition to the zoning change.