Monday, April 9, 2018

Special Zoning Use Review & April 29th Congregational Meeting

Public Hearing Announcement Appears on the East Lawn

You may have seen the sign below on our yard this past weekend and wondered, "What's up?"

Our architects, Barrett Studios, submitted our Site Plan and Architectural Review to the City of Lafayette on March 23rd.

In previous meetings with city planners they said we did not need a Special Use Review because we were not changing our use.  Late last week we were informed that the city planners could not find any paperwork to back up our previous use designation.

The City staff was apologetic, but they are now saying that we have to go through a Zoning Review Process.

However, they recognized that we had relied on their previous assurances so they

  1. are not going to charge us the normal fee for a Zoning Application, and
  2. are going to expedite the Application as much as possible so it doesn't slow down the project.

Rich Keilman, our architect project leader, quickly put together and submitted our Zoning Application.   The city is obviously moving quickly as neither we, nor the architect, had been notified yet about the public hearing - the sign appeared on Saturday and we guess they will notify us shortly.  Several Building Committee members will attend the public meeting.

April 29th Congregational Meeting

We have postponed the vote on moving ahead with construction until the Saturday, June 2nd, Annual Meeting.

There will be a Town Hall Informational Meeting on April 29th as scheduled to provide you with updated information.  As you may know, nothing ever goes completely as planned with a project of this magnitude and a short delay now should not slow us down much in the greater scheme of things.

This postponement was decided on in a meeting last Saturday with Rev. Lydia, Board members, Combined Campaign Members, Building Committee member, and our Treasurer.  Topics discussed included the Combined Campaigns, Building Project projected costs, and the operating budget for the next year.

There seem to be just too many open questions at this point to have a definitive vote three (3) weeks from now.

Among the questions:

  • We are still working on the next round of project costing.  There has been substantial engineering work to do before the general contractor could update costs.
  • The numbers from the Capital Campaign are not complete yet.
  • As with large building projects, our current cost estimates have increased and we still have a gap between income and cost that we are working on.  We may need to "phase" parts of the project.
  • We have a new engineering firm working on our renewable energy systems design.
  • From our conversations with the City, we don't anticipate a problem with the zoning, but we need to have a more definitive response before we decide to move into construction.
As you can tell, we are moving cautiously as we do our due diligence  for the Fellowship.

Thanks to all for supporting the Building Committee.

Jim Highsmith
Building Committee Co-Chair

Remodeling and Expanding the Fellowship or 
A Recipe for a Roller Coaster!

Start with ripe imagination
Add some over-stimulation
A pinch of spicy inspiration
Stewed in saucy consternation
Please don't season with much sleep
A glass of wine or two will keep
You on the ride of your life...
Hang on!