Warrenville Rethinks Plan to Curb Church Construction

Article excerpt

Warrenville officials will reconsider a plan to force churches and religious groups to face public scrutiny before they build new facilities or add on to existing buildings.

Warrenville plan commissioners recommended the rule to the city council. But a recent discussion between aldermen, church officials and parishioners led the council to send the proposal back to the plan commission.

"Church ministers and parishioners had a problem with the way it was written," Alderman Linda Linford said. "The plan commission's intention was good, but it didn't come out that way."

The law would have given residents living near churches a chance to air worries about noise, traffic, lights or other zoning issues. It also would have allowed the city to impose requirements on religious institutions for parking, lighting and noise issues.

Currently, residents and city officials have no say in how a church is built if it meets Warrenville's residential building and zoning codes.

The city's community development committee met July 24 with residents, church officials and parishioners to discuss the proposal. …