The Richmond Register

Local News

December 19, 2013

Planning Commission debates churches in shopping centers

RICHMOND — The Richmond Planning and Zoning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend amending the city zoning ordinance to allow churches and government offices as conditional uses in B-4 (Planned Shopping Center) zones.

Conditional uses require permits from the Board of Adjustments.

The recommendation will now go before the city commission.

The planners’ hourlong discussion about the zoning amendment originated from a request to allow Crossroads Christian Church to move into space at the Carriage Gate Shopping Center, which also is home to Hobby Lobby and Office Depot.

Carriage Gate is zoned B4, and churches are not a permissible use in that classification, according to the city zoning ordinance.

Two representatives of Crossroads Christian attended the meeting. They said the congregation has been meeting at a local middle school for some time and wished to have a permanent location. Crossroads also has churches in Lexington and Georgetown.

Attorney Mike Eaves represented the shopping center’s owner, Bill Rouse, at the meeting.

Commissioner Neen Wiggins pointed out that churches do not pay taxes, and allowing churches into business zones could limit the availability of prime retail space in the city.

Meeting attendees also discussed the fact that a church and a government office are housed in the Richmond Mall, an apparent violation of its B4 zoning. However, the Vineyard Community Church and offices for government administrators and the contractor for the Blue Grass Army Depot chemical weapons destruction plant have leased space in the mall for several years.

Eaves urged the commission to change the ordinance to allow churches in B4 zones without the need for a conditional use permit.

However, Commissioner Dr. James Miller said bringing nonretail entities into shopping centers could result in fewer customers visiting the area, possibly hurting businesses already there.

However, Eaves disagreed that a church would have a negative impact on Carriage Gate.

The owner’s assumption is “the church will help save the development,” Eaves said.

Commissioner Mike Rice said he disagreed with requiring churches to obtain conditional use permits to locate in a shopping center, stating the commission was “veering into too much government.”

The landlord knows what’s best for his shopping center, Rice said.

Miller moved to recommend that the zoning ordinance be amended to allow churches and government offices as conditional uses in B4 zones, based on the economic situation in the city at the time and the area available in a shopping center.

The motion passed 5-2 with Rice and Commissioner Richard Thomas dissenting.

The recommendation will now be put before the Richmond City Commission as an ordinance amendment, which requires two readings and a vote for passage.

If the amendment passes, Carriage Gate must obtain a conditional use permit from the Board of Adjustments for Crossroads Christian Church to become a tenant.

The commission indicated it would start work next month on recommendations for a general revision of the zoning ordinance’s B4 section.


Text Only
Local News
  • Miss Madison Winners 2.jpg My fair ladies


    July 29, 2014 5 Photos

  • 10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday

    Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Lucille May 1.jpg Memories bloom in May’s garden

    After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
    Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Steven Coffey.jpg Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea

    Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
    Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos