Charlie Fox appeared before the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals earlier this month seeking a Variance of Use to allow St. Michael Church to use the residential property at 627 North Walnut Street for church business.
Fox said his parents were dedicated to St. Michael Church and he is working to settle their estate. The church is interested in purchasing the home and using it to expand the parish offices and have a place where the youth groups can gather. The sale of the property is contingent on the variance.
During the public hearing, a couple of priests from the church spoke in favor of the request and noted that the home offers two off-street parking spaces. They also commented that the current offices are not handicap assessable with stairs required to enter the building across the street from 627 N. Walnut Street.
Kyle Reese, who owns a property nearby sent a letter of support. His letter said granting the variance will have a positive impact on the congregation and the neighborhood.
Parishioner Kurt Feece attended the meeting and told members of the BZA that the St. Michael Church has been in the community since 1860 and has been a beacon of Christ’s love and mercy. He commented that getting the business offices out of the priest’s home would be a positive step forward.
With no other comments, the Plymouth BZA approved the variance of use which will allow St. Michael Church to purchase the property at 627 N. Walnut St. The vote was 4 Yes and 1 abstention, Mark Gidley who is a parish member.