WILMINGTON -- The Valley Town Church will now be holding its services at 12 South Main St.
After the Wilmington Development Review Board approved its request for a change of use in the zoning, the Christian church will be allowed to operate there.
"It is good for the church because now we have a space to meet in," said Valley Town Church Executive Pastor Zac Caudell, who acted as the agent for the church. "We have moved around a lot over the past year and it's nice to have a place that we can settle into, at least for the time being. I'm not sure how much longer we will meet in this building, but it's a great fit for us now and we hope to stay there for a little while."
Caudell met with the DRB to go over the application, which was a proposal to have the building changed in its zoning from a retail space to a use for an assembly.
"It was pretty simple," said Caudell. "We attended the hearing and had to clarify any further questions that the board had that they were unable to resolve based on what we wrote in our application."
The application was approved on Feb. 25.
The building had originally been constructed as a church, the DRB had found. Most recently, the site was used as an art gallery. Before the DRB's approval, the property was vacant.
The board thought that since it was previously used as a church, it would not have "an undue adverse effect on the community."
The board also said that South Main Street would be able to handle the additional traffic, which the Valley Town Church would bring to the downtown area during its services and social events.
The church services attract about 30 to 50 people each Sunday and are held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A second service may be added, if the church's congregation grows over time.
Social events will also be held at the site. These events will occur several times a month and usually last until 10 p.m.
In the conditions for the approval, the DRB concluded that the during these events "with amplified sound, shall not last past 11 p.m."
"At other times, no more than five or five people would usually be in the building," the DRB findings said.
Caudell had met with State of Vermont Assistant State Fire Marshal Brian Johnson to discuss the amount of people who'd be allowed in the building at once. Johnson said he thought the maximum occupancy is about 100 people.
An abutter was concerned with the available parking for attendees of the church at the DRB hearing on Feb. 19.
"Parking for the expected number of congregants is available on the street and also in the town parking lot across the street," the board concluded. "In addition, the high school parking lot is usually available on weekends and in the evening."
Since there are various other churches nearby, the board concluded that it would not have "an undue adverse affect on the character of the area, as defined by the purpose or purposes of the zoning district within which the project is located."
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.