There are a few things that bother me more than lack of integrity, hypocrisy and just plain stupidity. The aforementioned subjects cover all three, and not in any particular order. Today, we shall cover the Church as mentioned in the title, the bridge and scam are soon to follow…
After a short tete-a-tete with the neighboring church over the last year and hopes that they will actually glean some common sense about an expansion project, alas, they are once again stampeding forward against all the neighbors wishes.
Here is the scenario:
East end church grows in size. Now needs more parking because they are busting at the seams in their current location. Instead of moving, a la Canaan or Southeast Christian to a larger facility to house their growth, Church leaders decide that a two story parking structure adding 150 spots in the middle of Windy Hills residential neighborhood would be ideal.
The problem? The Metro Planning board and zoning laws forbid it. Said church must have a hearing to gain permission. Oh, and all the adjacent property owners hate the idea as well, and voiced their opinions very clearly at a meeting last week. Now what we didn’t see is any acknowledgement of the neighbors opinions whatsoever.
The gerrymandering of the root oppositions by the Christ Church United Methodist located @ 4614 Brownsboro Road, is to skirt the legality issues ( ego’s at their best) and the neighbor’s opposition by a) trying to smooth the issue with “lots of landscaping and the parking garage will look great” and b) “we want to be good neighbors”. The meeting was such a disaster, once again most people just got up an left when they realized the CCUM was gong to push through the wishes of their neighbors and do what they want without any consciousness.
According to Frost, Brown Todd attorney Glenn Price:
“We cannot destroy your living environment – and we are asking for your help. If you could have a filter or screen in your vision- what would you like that to be? “
To which the neighbors answered : “Nothing, do not build it.”
“ The only thing that we can build is what is applied for and what is approved.” Again , no thought as to how it negatively affects property values, aesthetics, traffic or even the water / rain drainage from all that impermeable surface.
Most of the residents that border the property have already suffered years of construction noise dust and the like when the CCUM needs to grow, they are discouraged but outraged at the same time about the progress.
The articles in question that the church need to gain access clearly state the size of accessory buildings in residential neighborhoods. The CCUM is filing the paperwork to request 2 items : a wavier for the garage and for conditional use permits
- waiver is a waiver of LDC code that will allow the parking deck
- conditional use permit would also have to be approved
Both would have to be passed by LDC board.
LDC ( Land Development Code) Definitions:
Non-Residential/Mixed Use Site Design Standards
5..5.5 Accessory Structure Standards
A. Standards for Accessory Structures (other than accessory structures
to single-family residential development)
1. Accessory structures (e.g. dumpsters, storage buildings, HVAC
equipment, fast food ordering stations/menu boards and similar
uses) shall not be constructed or permitted within any required
setback/yard. These structures shall be subordinate in size to the
principal structure, shall not be visible from the public street, and
shall be screened from adjacent residential areas by fencing or
walls. When accessory structures are adjacent to residential uses,
the accessory structure shall not exceed the scale of the adjacent
The mission statement from the LDC website states the following:
“BYLAWS LOUISVILLE METRO PLANNING COMMISSION
ARTICLE I Name
The name of this Commission shall be the Louisville Metro Planning Commission.
ARTICLE II Purpose
The purpose of the Planning Commission shall be to direct the economic growth and physical development of Jefferson County and the communities therein, and to guide such development in such a manner as to assure the prosperity, health, safety, morals and general welfare of the county and its communities.”
The CCUM and their garage push set a dangerous precedent for future growth in residential areas. With the passing of one waiver for a parking structure, I again ask, why not every other church suffering the same dilemma. If the Planning Commission grants this , and there are other churched along US 42 who have the same issues, then common sense says you can expect more of these structures to pop up all around town , and not just in the east end either. Be careful what can of worms you set Metro Louisville, this could affect everyone from Druid Hills to Highview, as no one should be exempt if you allow one parking garage.
If you would like to help stop issues like this from happening in your neighborhood, contact the Metro Planning Commission and your local city counsel. Keep your eyes here for the ongoing saga and developments on this issue.
To read all the details of my original story from 2010, click here.