(BEDFORD) - The Bedford Plan Commission rejected a request to rezone the Church of the Nazarene in the 1400 block of R Street.
Natasha Johns planned to buy the building and asked that the zoning be changed so she could convert the church into a building to host parties and other special events and would include an indoor bounce houses for children.
The property is zoned R-2, designating it for many residential uses, from homes to multi-family dwellings, Johns asked to have the zoning change to B-3, which would allow her to open the business.
A debate began between neighbors and supporters of Johns. Neighbors concerns ranged from traffic, increased taxes, to supervision of the children and oversight of the property to Johns' ability to run the business.
Johns is currently holding similar events at the old Oolitic High School gym, but was looking for a permanent location. Johns' supporters liked the idea of having a place for children to go and have fun.
Commission members expressed general support for Johns' plan but they noted that all of the surrounding property is zoned for residential use. Commission member Byron Buker pointed out if the zoning was changed, that would open the door for 17 different types of businesses to apply to open in the residential area and could mean a change in the neighborhood in the years to come. Because of those concerns, the board voted against the rezoning request.
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