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Carlsborg church and county sparring again over land use

Peninsula News Network

6/16/05 - Port Angeles, WA - A Carlsborg area church finds itself in another land-use showdown with Clallam County, this time over a zoning change that church members say would interfere with their ministry.

More than 75-members of the Kingsway Foursquare Church packed the hearing room at the courthouse Wednesday night to tell the Clallam County Planning Commission that a new zone aimed at protecting an adjacent airport would keep their congregation from growing.

The airport overlay district is being developed in response to new state law which calls on counties to eliminate land uses that could cause safety hazards and conflicts with airports. Zones are being proposed for all of the county's public-use airports, including Fairchild Airport, Sequim Valley, Forks Municipal, Sekiu and the Quillayute Airfield. It would not effect the many private airstrips scattered throughout the county.

But members of the Kingsway Foursquare Church complain the restrictions on adjacent Sequim Valley Airport would prevent them from expanding their church in the future, interfering with their First Amendment rights and ability to do "the Lord's work". Pastor Mike Van Proyan told the commission the district would keep the church from proceeding with plans to expand their sanctuary.
Church leaders also complained the zoning change would prevent them from expanding their proposed youth camp in the future. That project has already been approved but is being litigated over county limits on the size of the camp.

But it wasn’t just the church members who were concerned about the airport overlay proposal. Other property owners were worried about how the designation might devalue their homes and land.

Speakers were asking the commission to spend more time developing the final rules. The deadline for public comment had been June 27 th, although the commission has set no date to vote on the overlay proposal, or for its possible implementation.


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