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For these reasons, we looked for property to buy or sent
The properties we found during this period were either too small for our needs, had been through a fire, were next to a tavern or liquor store, or cost over $250,000. We understood that, as a practical matter, it was impossible to get a permit for a church near a liquor store and so did not pursue those properties.
When we found a former heating company building which was suitable for our needs at 8536 s. Racine. The building is located in a 1-1 zoning district, so a special use permit was necessary in order for us to use the building. However, we were desperate for a building and so we decided to go through the process to obtain a special use permit.
The church entered into a contract to purchase the building, contingent on obtaining a special use permit.
My first step was to meet with Alderman Murphy to enlist bis
However, when we went to the Zoning Board of Appeals to file
to testify at our zoning hearing.
Just before our hearing, our zoning attorney discovered that the tavezn which was causing our zoning problems had renewed its liquor license in 1990, even though it was already within 100 feet of another chusca.
After we had our hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals,
The congregation was extremely irustrated with the time it took to obtain our special use permit so that we could have a permanent meeting place. We lost three or four members over this issue, along with their financial support of the church.
Many members of the church questioned my authority and my integrity because I was sure that God had provided this building for us. They believed that if God bad provided the building, we would not be having the delays, expenses, and problems we were having. This led to discouragement among the church members.
When we obtained our approval letter, it was contingent on our paving the parking lot behind the building in a very specific way. We complied with these requirements at a cost to the church of approximately $10,075; we now have the only paved parking lot in the 8500 block of South Racine, in spite of the fact that there is another church and many small businesses on the block.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CIVIL LORTIES ron Umw BILI nas, ET AL.,
CITY OZ CLICAGO AND
STATE OF ILLINOIS.
WFIDAVIT OF MOUNT ZION CHURC.
(ICLZSIA DE AVIVAMIENTO YONTE DE SION) I, Jose Acevedo, being sworn upon my oath, state that I am the Pastor of Iglesia de Avivamiento Monte de Sion and that I have personal knowledge of the facts stated herein and am competent to testify thereto: 1. Iglesia de Avivamiento Monte de Sion is an Illinois Not-for
profit corporation which began meeting as a church in 1983 and was incorporated in 1986. The church currently has
approximately 110 members. 2. Worship, teaching of the Bible, baptism, and communion are all
integral to the exercise of the beliefs of the church. All these activities require that the members of the church gathe: together regularly.
From February of 1988 to December of 1993, the church rented space at 4545 n. Kedzie, Chicago, which was zoned 02-2. We did not have a special use permit at this location. A city building inspector came out to the property in 1990 and told me that he would return in a year and did not want to see the church meeting there at that time.
In 1990, we also began to outgrow. Our rented space. People attending services had to stand, and we were only able to have two Sunday School classes. We had no space for a nursery, and we were unable to host services with other churches. Due to these factors and to our lack of a special use permit, we began looking for new rental space.
During our search we became more acutely aware of the special
subject to our obtaining a special use permit. The property is zoned -2. We also were able to lease parking spaces ia nearby lots for use on Sunday mornings, which is the only time the church needs a sigaificant amount of parking. The number of parking spaces we leased was adequate under the Chicago zoning ordinance.
We obtained a denial letter from the Chicago Department of
We met with Alderman Wojcik to get his support for our permit application. He informed us that one neighborhood group was opposed to our use of 3949 X. Pulaski as a church and therefore he would not support our special use application.
Because of the problems with our zoning application, we decided to terminate our lease and look for other property rather than have the zoning board deny our permit. But for the requirements for a special use permit and the Illinois liquor law, we were ready, willing, and able to lease 3949 N. Pulaski for use as a church.
When we lost the property on Pulaski, .the congregation became discouraged because it seemed. unlikely that we would be able to find a bigger meeting place. . Some members of the church became so upset with our situation. that they left the church.
In late 1993, we located property at 2318 W. Foster, zoned 32-