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Canton Friendship Church Compromises with Neighbors

The Canton Township Planning Commission suggested the Canton Friendship Church add a property line fence to its plans after hearing concern from neighbors.

The Canton Township Planning Commission held a public hearing Monday for Canton Friendship Church, which is seeking a special land use request for its residential property and site plan approval for the addition of a garage.

Part of the church's plan is to use a residential building on its property as office space. The church has proposed planting evergreen trees between the building and the neighbor next door to create privacy and to muffle noise disturbance. 

Timothy Zapinski, of 47304 Saltz Road, lives in the home adjacent to the church's residential property. He said he spoke with church representatives about placing a fence between their property lines.

"I thought the fence was a done deal," he said, but came to the hearing and saw no plans for a fence.

Township Treasurer Melissa McLaughlin said a fence was built between two properties in a similar situation for Cornerstone Baptist Church, but that it was a long process. She said the Planning Commission would look into the details of that plan to see what could be done for this site.

Richard Lindenberger, representing the church, said they are fine with adding a fence and scratching the plan of planting evergreen trees, some of which would have been removed from the back of the building thus exposing that area.

Garage and Dumpster Eyesore

The church also plans to build a garage for storage on the property near the existing Dumpster unit. Jennifer Marsman, 125 Hendrie, said the Dumpster is visible from her backyard. She said she wanted to know whether the existing berm would be extended to cover the view of the Dumpster and the planned garage. 

McLaughlin suggested the church fill in that area without necessarily using a berm, but by planting spruce trees.

The Planning Commission picked apart the Church's plans:

  • Chairman Greg Greene said he was concerned that people would park on Saltz Road instead of in the lot to get easier access to the building.
  • Damon Garrett said he was most concerned with the neighbors' preferences regarding the church expansion.
  • Garrett and other commission members also were concerned that changes to the house would ruin the look and style of the street, which has only residential properties. 

In the end, the commission approved the recommendation of the site plan for the garage addition and the special land use request for the residential building with the amendment to propose a fence.

Read about the planning commission's approval of a site plan for expansion of the B.A.P.S. Mandir Temple.

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