Pittsfield alderman, mayor vote down plans for ordinance clearing way for church in industrial park

Posted: Feb. 6, 2013 9:11 am Updated: Feb. 27, 2013 10:38 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- Mayor John Hayden broke a Pittsfield City Council tie Tuesday night, voting down plans for an ordinance allowing churches as a permitted use in the industrial park.

The Crossing has been meeting in one of the former JDL buildings in the industrial park and wants to continue holding services at the site, but that's not allowed under the park's covenant.

Aldermen "would like the church to be here in Pittsfield," City Clerk Cindy Prentice said. "They just feel it's not where it should be."

The Crossing's request had been referred to the economic development committee in December.

Crossing officials were told before December that using the industrial building as a church did not comply with the park's covenants and that they would not be able to stay in the space. The church had been looking for another site, with one option another industrial park building owned by Jeff Foiles.

The request could come up for another vote in the future.

"They can come back next time and try it again, and they intend to," Prentice said. "They brought up some points that hadn't been brought up before. They'll let the aldermen think about it and see if any change their mind."

Voting in favor of preparing the ordinance, which then would need first reading and final approval, were Dick Ervin, Bob Evans, Ed Knight and Robert Wood. Voting against were Paul Lennon, Bill Scheiwe, Robert Wilson and Kevin Wombles.

Steve Brink, the building's owner, said the church is welcome to use the site as long as it wants, but "we have a stipulation they can't," Prentice said.

Also Tuesday, aldermen set a 5 p.m. Feb. 19 Ordinance Committee meeting to discuss a growing concern with false alarm calls to the fire department. The committee will look into developing an ordinance outlining consequences for repeat false alarm calls.