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Hanover Residents Oppose Church Plan

  • Image courtesy Bread Loaf Corporation.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/6/2018 11:57:59 PM
Modified: 2/7/2018 9:07:28 AM

Hanover — The Planning Board intends to visit the site of a proposed church on Greensboro Road after neighbors packed a meeting last week to express opposition to the size of the building.

Christ Redeemer Church, a Baptist congregation of about 400 that now meets at Hanover High School, recently returned to the board with scaled-back plans for a new house of worship south of downtown. The 21,250-square-foot, two-story structure now proposed would cost about $5 million and shave about 13,000 square feet off a plan submitted in 2016, according to town records.

Meeting minutes for a Jan. 30 Planning Board meeting indicate that numerous neighbors to the project site, which is located on Greensboro Road near its intersection with Route 120, attended to express concern about its size and potential effects from traffic, light and other forms of disturbance.

“None of the neighbors are against having a church in the neighborhood,” Lara Acker, who lives across the street from the site, said in an email after the event. “It is the size of the building and the parking lot. We love our neighborhood and having 400 people come here, on a weekly basis, will definitely alter the character of our quiet residential neighborhood.”

Christ Redeemer Pastor Don Williams was among at least four church representatives present. He said his colleagues had scaled down the structure and decreased its visible profile from the road in response to neighbors’ earlier comments.

Board member Iain Sim’s “first concern,” according to minutes, “was the volume of the building.” He noted that other Hanover churches in similar zoning districts were a fraction of the proposed building’s size, albeit on smaller lots.

Other board members, including Brian Edwards and Paul Simon, noted the size of the parking lot, which would offer at least 100 spaces, and possible disturbance from its lights. Church officials say they will install natural screening to keep it out of view.

The Planning Board is in the “design review” portion of the permitting process, an early stage that comes before “site plan review,” where they may vote the application up or down.

Board members scheduled a site visit for today but then postponed it because of expected snowfall. As of Tuesday afternoon, they had not yet set a new date.

Rob Wolfe can be reached at rwolfe@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.

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