Council approves church annex ordinances

By Charles Menchaca

The Urbana City Council approved two ordinances Monday night regarding a new annex at Twin City Bible Church.

One approved ordinance requested an increase in the floor-area ratio of two different houses owned by the church at 806 and 808 W. Michigan Ave. City planner Paul Lindahl said the church plans to construct the annex in the place of the two houses.

The other approved ordinance requested a special use permit to establish the church in the city’s R-2 and R-3 zoning district. Lindahl said the city’s zoning ordinance states a church or temple is permitted only as a special use in the zoning districts. City staff recommended approval of the ordinance pending several conditions such as adhering to the plan submitted and minimizing parking lot lighting.

Urbana Mayor Tod Satterthwaite thanked the petitioners who talked to residents in the area about the annex.

“It looks like the design is sensitive to the neighborhood,” Satterthwaite said.

The council also unanimously passed an ordinance Monday night to extend the Build Urbana Tax Rebate Program for two years. According to a memorandum, the program rebates the property tax difference between the total in the cities of Champaign and Urbana to new homeowners for a total of five years.

In other news, Public Works Director Bill Gray said Main Street will be closed between Cottage Grove Avenue and Lierman Avenue starting today. Gray said the city will repair the railroad tracks located in the area. Drivers are recommended to take Cottage Grove south to Washington Avenue and then head north on Lierman Avenue to Main Street. Gray said the repairs should be completed by Thursday night.