Church, merchants at odds over downtown plan

Not everyone thinks downtown Kingman needs a church

KINGMAN - Central Christian Church's controversial pursuit of a conditional use permit that would allow them to worship in part of the historic Central Commercial Building resumes at tonight's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Planners postponed taking action at their November meeting after attorney Matt Lockin and church members squared off against members of Kingman's downtown business community.

In essence, church members want a place to call their own and move from Lee Williams High School, where they have congregated each Sunday for the past few years.

Downtown merchants and supporters don't have a problem with that goal. They just think the church would be a better fit some place other than downtown.

The key issue is a presumed lack of parking for the few hundred church members, but that's not the only one.

Commission members asked the two sides to come together and reach a compromise before taking action, but that meeting has not occurred.

The City Council, in response to news Central Christian Church had its eye on the downtown building, quickly created an Entertainment District that protects the bars and other adult-oriented businesses downtown from laws prohibiting them from operating within 300 feet of a church or school.

There is no law that prevents the church from obtaining a conditional use permit.

In another item of interest on the agenda, commissioners will revisit a Council-initiated request to create a planned development district for the proposed Kingman Crossing development.

The text amendment to the city's zoning ordinance would denote what uses will be permitted by right or by conditional use permit, as well as property development standards.

The land in question is 151 acres of publicly owned city land south of Interstate 40, north of the Airfield Avenue, east of Sage Streets and west of the Cherokee Street alignments.

Planning commissioners will also consider recommendations to the Council regarding the appointment of a new member.

Tonight's meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 310 N. Fourth Street.