Comer Baptist Church wishes to buy an adjacent parcel of land and switch to a commercial zoning.
But first, representatives of the church stopped by the Comer City Council meeting Tuesday, seeking the council’s opinion on the zoning issue.
“Before we could make this gentleman (the property owner) any kind of offer … it would have to be rezoned,” said Tim Clark of Comer Baptist. “We just wondered what the council’s feeling would be on it.”
However, the council would have to offer its thoughts away from the meeting table.
“The city can’t state an opinion on how they would vote on a zoning application in public,” city attorney Victor Johnson said. “You can speak privately.”
The church, which is zoned residential, wishes to buy a residential lot that faces Madison Street. The lot is located behind the church. Comer Baptist would use the added land for office space, youth group rooms and a parking lot.
Clark and Comer Baptist representative Jimmy Legg noted that most of the property in the vicinity of the church already carries a C1 zoning. No one on the council knows why the church has a residential zoning.
City clerk Steve Sorrells said several churches were given that zoning back in the 1960s and 1970s. Some churches’ zonings were changed, but Comer Baptist’s wasn’t.
Legg said Comer Baptist is simply looking to expand, noting that there’s no room to build on the church lot.
“We’re looking to grow and we’re land-locked … We’ll have to relocate or work something out,” he said.