New Windsor council blocks factory project Zone change rejection thwarts church's plans to renovate building

October 12, 1998|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

A Westminster congregation's proposal to transform a former mattress factory in New Windsor into a church was thwarted when New Windsor Town Council refused last week to change a zoning law to accommodate the project.

The council decided to retain a zoning provision that bars churches in industrial districts. The decision ended New Life Foursquare Gospel Church's plan to buy and renovate the 26,000-square-foot building on a 9.2-acre site in the 1000 block of Tibbetts Lane.

"We're picking up and going on. We thought we'd be a good asset to the community. But part of this is our faith and prayers to God, and he works through governments and people," said the Rev. William G. Thomas, senior pastor. "We believe God has a place for us. It may be that this is not the place or this is not the right time."

Church representatives approached the council last month, seeking a zoning change that would make churches in industrial districts a permitted use -- allowed as a matter of right -- or a conditional use -- allowed with permission of the town's zoning appeals board.

Council members had to consider whether the requested zoning change conformed to the town's master plan, Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. said after hearing the request last month.

AW Industries, a Landover sofa bed manufacturer, closed the mattress factory four years ago and put the building up for sale at an asking price of $895,000. Walter Patton of KLNB Realtors Inc., which is marketing the property, said the building is leased to a Baltimore plastic thermoform company, which stores equipment there but is not using it for manufacturing.

Pub Date: 10/12/98

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