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Mill Run United Methodist Church gets variance setback OK'd by zoning board; rebuilding begins

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Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 7:42 a.m.
 

The Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday approved a variance setback for a Springfield Township Church that burned a year ago.

Fire destroyed the Mill Run United Methodist Church along Mill Run Road on Feb. 13, 2012. Since then, the congregation of about 70 regular weekly attendees have worshipped at Camp Christian, about 2 miles from the site.

On Feb. 17, 2013, church members gathered for a groundbreaking on the grounds of the old church on the way to rebuilding the structure.

Alex Pounds, an engineer with Widmer Engineering, approached the zoning hearing board on Wednesday to request a variance setback of 13 feet and the elimination of a buffer zone between the church and a next-door ball field.

The variance, Pounds explained, was to install an overhang at the church's front entrance to provide cover for drive services or for handicapped individuals from the weather.

The buffer elimination request was made because the church's parking lot is shared with those occupying the ball field on one side of the church. The buffer would not allow the lot to be shared.

The new church will be roughly the same size as the previous church, which was 10,000 square feet, but will be only a single story. The previous 100-year-old church was three stories tall.

The original church's bell and steeple will be restored and incorporated into the new building. The only other salvageable item from the fire, the altar Bible, will be on display in a case.

Building plans for the new church include a sanctuary, a fellowship hall, a gym and a kitchen. Estimated project cost is between $900,000 and $1 million.

No one attending the board meeting opposed the requests. Both were unanimously approved.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media.

He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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