Thanks for the attention provided in covering the contested conditional use permit for the 0.425 acre lot on the corner of Crystal Cove and Thunder Trail. The Board of Commissioners has wisely remanded this issue back to the Planning Commission for further review.
The “Center” referred to in the article headline is somewhat misleading as everyone involved in this dispute realizes that this is a “church.” Even if it is a “youth center or lodge,” it shouldn’t be squeezed onto a small lot in a residential neighborhood because the buyer bought the land for back taxes without proper zoning clearance.
The petitioner (led by Pastor Levin) started this process with thoughts of a “drug rehab center.” His Web site then talked of an “organic church.” When it became clear that this 18,513-square-foot, postage-sized lot in the middle of a 100 percent residential neighborhood would never meet the requirements for a zoning variance as a church, this facility all of a sudden became a “youth center or lodge.”
The Friday night song-fests and prayer meetings currently held on the vacant lot confirm the old adage that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck — surprise, surprise — it’s a duck.
Unless you want the planning commission to stick an “organic church” or “youth center or lodge” next to your house in your 100 percent residential neighborhood, I suggest you start quacking now.
Gainesville (Forsyth County)