[ApaIllinois] ILAPA Forum Question: Suggestions on reuse of former church buildings

ILAPA Editor editor at ilapa.org
Mon Mar 12 09:31:59 CDT 2007

The City of Moline  is struggling with the reuse of former church buildings.  Like in other  communities, churches are moving away from their (walkable) neighborhood  locations to locate in larger complexes on major thoroughfares.  While  we've had some luck finding smaller worship groups to reuse some of the church  buildings, we still have examples of buildings sitting  vacant.  Some are becoming dilapidated, causing code  enforcement problems and causing a detriment to the surrounding  neighborhood.  
 Some Aldermen feel  our zoning restrictions may be limiting the buildings' reuse potential.   Churches are zoned R-2 residential which allows low-density dwelling uses as  well as general institutional uses (i.e. schools, libraries, museums, community  centers, clubs, funeral homes, lodges, etc.).  Our Council is wondering if  other municipalities have taken this a step further by allowing office or  limited commercial uses within former churches, schools, or similar civic  buildings.  Does anyone have a unique way they've approached this  issue?  We don't feel a separate zoning district would be appropriate, but  would appreciate any suggestions you can provide.  Thanks in  advance.
 Shawn  Christ
 City of Moline,  IL

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