Members of Jefferson First United Methodist Church appeared before the Jefferson City Council Monday night to appeal a recommendation by the historic preservation commission that planned new parking spaces be surfaced with grass pavers instead of pavement.
The council heard from a representative of the church, as well as area residents opposed to their appeal. No action was taken at the work session, but the item will be on the agenda when the city council meets at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 23, at the civic center.
“These spaces need to be replaced by suitable spaces that provide safe, level access to the church buildings for our elderly and disabled members and guests,” church representative Tim Cornelison wrote in a letter to the council. “The plastic grids overplanted with grass, in our opinion, are not a safe alternative for individuals utilizing a walker, a cane or crutches.”
Christy Johnson, chairman of the HPC, said the board felt the grass pavers would be “more in keeping with the historical character” of the Martin-Cooley Historic District.
Henry Johnson, a resident of the neighborhood, spoke in opposition to the church’s appeal.
“This church has pushed us, pushed us and pushed us,” he said. “We are tired of this. They don’t live in the neighborhood."