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Board agrees to allow church services at residence


Jason Browne



The Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission granted a request Tuesday to allow church services at a Louisville Street single-family residence. 


The board agreed to grant conditional permission to The Church, which has a congregation of eight, to meet at 1315 Louisville St. each Sunday and Wednesday. The decision followed a brief discussion and a public hearing, during which only members of The Church appeared. 


Discussion over the change centered on available parking at the residence, which shares a wide driveway with a row of duplexes, and how often the board will check with The Church to determine if the conditions of the zoning change are being met. 


Commission members Ira Loveless and Jerry Emison questioned Starkville City Planner Ben Griffith on the amount of parking available at the home and whether it would be adequate if The Church''s membership grew. 


"It seems to me if there''s a substantial increase in size they need to come in for another conditional use request," said Emison. 


Griffith estimated the driveway in front of the residence provided enough space for 12 vehicles to park and maneuver. The commission agreed to include language in the zoning change stating if 12 or more vehicles attended services for two consecutive weeks, the request would be revisited for possible alterations. Language was also added to specify the commission would check on The Church''s compliance with the zoning request bi-annually. 


"In a year or two, if they''ve outgrown (the space), we''ll revisit that," said Griffith. 


The request passed unanimously with commission member James Hicks recusing himself from voting due to his employment with Springer Engineering, which performed the surveying for The Church''s request. 


The commission will reconvene Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m., at which time it will hold another public hearing concerning Billie Jo White''s request for a zoning change from residential estate to general business zoning for the Western side of North Jackson Street between Bridle Path and Cherry Lane for the purpose of constructing doctors'' offices. 


A hearing to discuss White''s request had been planned for Tuesday but a mistake in the commission''s advertising of the meeting caused it to be postponed until December.




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