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Published: 11/9/2005

Richfield Township: Residents concerned over church

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Traffic on narrow country roads as well as lighting and parking problems have some Richfield Township residents concerned about the proposed construction of a church.

Richfield Township trustees will hold a public hearing tonight on a request for a special-use permit for the construction of a church at Murd Road and Central Avenue

The Lucas County Planning Commission has recommended approval for the church on property zoned for residential and agricultural use.

Some residents fear the church will bring too much traffic onto what essentially are narrow country roads, said Linda Johnston, township clerk. Others, who live nearby, are concerned about possible problems with lighting, parking, and other issues, she said.

The special-use permit was recommended for approval on about 20 acres.

If Christ the Word Church gains approval from township trustees, it will be built about 150 feet north of Central and will have two drives on Murd.

The building will be about 35,000-square-feet, with an additional 24,000 square feet available for expansion. Future expansion may include a fellowship hall, meeting rooms, and a possible gym.

Normally a special-use permit expires after one year if it's not used.

Mark Rose, an attorney for the church, asked the county commission for an extension because the congregation is raising funds but can't guarantee when it might begin construction.

He said that the one-year limit is understandable when a business is concerned, because the enterprise usually has a predictable income.

Church fund-raising is uncertain, he added, and will be made more difficult if the leaders aren't able to show a specific plan and have zoning in place so construction can begin.

The trustees have also scheduled the hearing for comments on the expiration of special-use permits. Tonight's meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the township hall, 3915 Washburn Rd.

Church fund-raising is uncertain, Mr. Rose added, and will be made more difficult if the leaders aren't able to show a specific plan and have zoning in place so construction can begin.

The trustees have also scheduled the hearing for comments on the expiration of special-use permits.

Tonight's meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the township hall, 3915 Washburn Rd.



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