Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blaine Planning Commission meeting

Last week by a unanimous vote the Blaine Planning Commission forwarded the purchase agreement for the Chain of Lakes property to the Blaine City Council. This was a very significant step for our new congregation.

Approximately 60 people from the neighborhood attended the meeting. They had a list of reasonable concerns about the purchase of the property which they shared with the Planning Commission. Many of these concerns were addressed in a report prepared by the staff of the City of Blaine.

After the meeting many folks from Chain of Lakes and I had an opportunity to meet and greet the neighbors. It was a wonderful chance to talk about the future. I was asked many questions by some neighbors about our potential use of the property in the future. I shared with the group that this process has been a bit strange for us as we are forecasting what will happen down the road. As a congregation we are not ready to pay for or construct a building. To get asked questions about a potential building is different. I was asked a number of questions by the neighbors:

If our traffic was so heavy would we pay for a traffic control?
Absolutely—we’d love to have a need to do this.

Are we planning on doing Vacation Bible School on the property this summer?
No. We had thought about doing this, but had decided a while ago (and before our first community meeting) for logistical reasons not to have Vacation Bible School on the property this summer.

Are we planning on putting up a pole shed on the property?
No. Any building will be constructed tastefully and will be fit in architecturally to the neighborhood. When we are ready to construct a building we will have a skilled architect develop the plans.

How are we paying for the property?
In our Presbytery, we have a tradition of the Presbytery paying for property for a new church. The congregation then has to pay for buildings on the land.

Some of the neighbors talked about having a pie social when the property purchase is completed. I think that would be a blast. At Chain of Lakes we want to be terrific neighbors.

The Blaine City Council will vote on the Purchase Agreement in May. If the vote is favorable, then the Presbytery will close on the property. After the closing—Chain of Lakes will hold and use the property in trust for the Presbytery.

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