Many Speak For & Against Church Use Of Canton ClubPosted: Updated:
People sat on the floor, stood in doorways and filled the room to capacity at the Canton Municipal Building Wednesday.
They came to speak at a hearing for and against a zoning officer's ruling that Family Christian Center cannot locate in the closed The Club restaurant.
Codes officer Jeffrey Murray had ruled churches are not allowed in the commercial district the former restaurant is located in. The church is appealing that decision.
The zoning board of appeals listened for an hour-and-a-half.
"Our request is to use the property at 25 Court Street as a church," Christian Fellowship pastor Jamie Sinclair said. "I humbly appeal this interpretation to you tonight. I firmly believe a more generous interpretation of the law is legitimate."
"I think its very clear the rules were set up to incorporate an area of the village that allowed for direct commercial operation," Canton resident Toby Irven said, "and a church does not fulfill that reason."
The zoning board met after the hearing to discuss the church's appeal. It has 62 days to make a decision.