Our story so far: Our church conversion project had created quite a stir in town.
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Our day of reckoning had arrived: The rezoning hearing.
We’d been feeling out neighbors and other interested parties for weeks, trying to determine if anyone might object to rezoning the church from “park” (the tax-free designation also bestowed on churches) to residential. We paid the fee, read the notice in the paper, put on clean clothes and showed up at the planning commission meeting to observe the public hearing for our rezoning.
We were the only ones there.
Besides the members of the planning commission, of course.
This was good news because it meant none of the neighbors objected.
A couple of the commissioners asked questions, mostly of curiosity (“Are you keeping the bell? Will you be ringing it on New Year’s Eve?” “Do you plan to have off-street parking?”), and within seventeen minutes, they’d approved of the rezoning.
Thirteen minutes later, the village board convened to consider the planning commission’s recommendation. The only question we got asked: “Are you going to keep the lilac bushes?”
“Bushes? Plural?” I questioned silently.
Those unidentified bushes along the sidewalk that we aggressively trimmed the third day we owned the church were identified by one of the board members as flowering bushes, known to bloom extravagantly in the spring.
“Yes, yes, all but three of them, which have to be removed for our driveway,” I said.
“Replanted,” Tyler corrected.
I nodded. If we could replant lilac bushes (or whatever they were), then absolutely, we would.
The village board made the planning commission’s decision official: Approved.
We were now part of the village tax rolls.
Which is exactly what we wanted.
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Tomorrow: Our project makes news as we wrap up Chapter 14. Read it here.