An appearance before the commish

Our story so far: Our church conversion project had created quite a stir in town.

# # #

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.

# # #

Tomorrow: Our project makes news as we wrap up Chapter 14. Read it here.

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7 thoughts on “An appearance before the commish

  1. Most all of the bushes surrounding the yard are “Bridal Wreath”. There were more than one Lilac Bush (which I see is still at the back corner of the yard). Some of them may still be down the right side of the yard where the concrete bench is sitting. I never remember or heard that any lilac bushes were ever removed.

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  2. It is not uncommon to have a public hearing and no public in attendance. I’m glad your process went through without a hitch! I lived in a church that had been renovated, but ours was a duplex. We had the top floor. The cool part is my dad attended that church right before he shipped out for WW II and the church gave him a small new testament bible. I kept it and gave it to my son as a remembrance of his grandpa.

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    • I can see why a lot of church conversions turn into multi-family housing. They’re big! So you lived in one. I wonder if you remember the soul of the place. Or if it was like any other house.

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  3. My brother (David Hill) asked me to mention to you that he has the wooden doors which divided the church sanctuary from the remaining main floor area. (Approx. 6) He said you are welcome to them at no cost. My phone #279-3747

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