Neighbor Upset Over Church Expansion Plans | News
HENDERSON, Nev. -- When St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church broke ground on its 20 acre campus in 2005, the priest at the time spoke of the parish's plan to build a Catholic school, gymnasium and rectory. The church was built on Sunridge Heights Parkway in Henderson in 2006.
Six years later, the church is preparing to expand, but a neighbor is concerned her view will be compromised by the size of the church's campus.
Neighbor Gayle Brock said she likes that the church is part of her neighborhood but is opposed to the size of the expansion. She takes issue with the height of the steeple and the traffic the expansion could bring.
The Saint Francis of Assisi congregation has plans to add four buildings to the property including one with a steeple and cross rising nearly 90 feet.
"We were pretty shocked at how tall that was," Brock said. "It takes your attention to anywhere else in the area … It will be a distraction to the neighborhood."
She said her concern doesn't come from the potential loss of her view of the Las Vegas valley.
The Henderson Planning Commission recently approved the church's expansion plans, but the proposal still has to get the green light from the city council.
"Can (the church's plans) get completely wiped out? No," said Stephanie Garcia Vause, director of community development. "But is there an opportunity for city council to ask for changes? Yes."
Garcia Vause said she understands the height concern, but with adjacent plots already approved to have buildings of similar heights, it may be hard to challenge the church's proposal.
"We realize challenges with development," Garcia Vause said. "When we have more development going on, we have more contentious issues."
Brock said a big part of the contention is that many of her neighbors are not aware of how high the church plans to build.
"They just went too far into the details before the neighbors are brought in," she said.
Brock has decided to plan her own community meeting to make sure everyone is informed.
"I think the biggest concern for all the neighbors is the fairness in the process," she said.
Church representatives declined an interview but in a statement said, "This is an exciting time for our parish community and we have worked closely with the city of Henderson to ensure that our church is fully compliant with all applicable codes."
The city council's meeting to determine whether this church expansion proposal moves forward is scheduled for Aug. 7.