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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

Jim Tait 02/01-02/28/17

home : news : news July 25, 2017

7/14/2017 7:27:00 AM
Minocqua Plan Commission OKs church services in vacant building
Minocqua Plan Commission OKs church services in vacant building

Brian Jopek

The Minocqua Plan Commission met for nearly 15 minutes Tuesday morning, and the only new business item was an application for an administrative review permit from Michael Adams.

His church, Lakeland Living Water, has been meeting in the Woodruff Town Hall for the past year and a half.

Adams told the commission he wanted to rent the building just north of The Sweet Shop in the Boardwalk Shoppes complex to conduct his services for what he said is a Pentecostal church.

"Kind of like the Assembly of God but not," he said.

Adams said his plan is to use it twice a week, once for Sunday services and then for a couple hours during the week, while keeping whatever equipment he uses in the building.

"The person we're renting it from, Mr. (Randy) Gorski, said we'd have it 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Adams said. "With that said, we would only use it for those times."

Oneida County's planning and zoning director, Karl Jennrich, said in this particular ARP application process Gorski hadn't indicated any other use for the building.

"It would be just for church services at this time," he said. "If he comes for other uses, he'd probably have to get another administrative use permit."

The only real concern plan commission members expressed revolved around parking.

Jennrich said according to county code, only nine spaces would be needed by the church.

"The way we have it set up in the code, with a maximum seating of 50, for each six patrons, you're required one parking space," he said.

Adams assured the commission not only is his current congregation small - 18 people, including his family - they would utilize a gravel parking area in back of the building next door and to the north.

"We've been running 15 to 20 people this past year," he said. "We haven't grown beyond that, as of this point, but obviously, in the future, you always want to grow and that type of thing. If we reached a certain point, we would definitely be looking for a different building."

Commission member Bill Stengl asked Adams if there were any plans for signage.

"We wanted to get past this first step and see what the parameters would be for signage," Adams said. "We really haven't thought past the building portion of it yet."

Commission member Tom Church asked Adams if neighboring businesses had been contacted regarding his plans.

"We spoke to tenants directly to the north and directly to the south of us," Adams said. "They seem very inviting to it. I think it helped we said we'd abstain from parking in the front and find alternative parking toward the rear. They seemed positive about it."

The ARP application was approved with standard conditions from the Oneida County zoning department.

The first service for the church in its new location is at 10 a.m. this Sunday.

Church's first meeting

It was Church's first meeting as a member of the plan commission.

He was selected by the town board at its June 20 meeting and takes the place of commission chair Susan Heil.

Minocqua town chairman Mark Hartzheim, also a plan commission member, said if any of the other commission members had suggestions for a new chairman, he'd be open to hearing them.

"I'm also willing to continue the chairmanship myself," he said.

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakelandtimes.com.

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