All Souls Church request denied on 3-2 vote
A request by All Souls Church to construct an 8,400 square-foot building on Buddy West Road was denied by Coweta County commissioners last week on a 3-2 vote. Church members at the meeting spoke in favor of the request while most neighbors asked commissioners to deny it, citing concerns that included parking, lighting and increased traffic.
Church pastor Curtis Connally during his remarks said, “Today we have a storefront and it has served us well. Now we need a building.”
Connally added his belief that a church would compliment the area and benefit the community.
All Souls has operated for the past 10 years and is currently located at Pleasant Hill Plaza on U.S. Highway 29. Connally said the congregation wanted to build the church on the five-acre property it had previously acquired.
The proposal had received mixed reviews with a recommendation of approval by the planning department and a recommendation of denial by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
During the discussion, Commissioner Randolph Collins asked what would happen if the church with seating for 299 people outgrew the location. Connally responded, saying if that occurred the church would have to find another location. Connally said he thought that eventuality would be a long time coming since the church has only about 50 members today.
Commissioners heard from a number of supporters and opponents of the proposal. Church member Suzanne White said the church would be a blessing to the community and the pastor’s wife, Mary Connally, said the church wanted to enhance the community.
But neighbors largely disagreed. Nancy Spencer in her opposition, like a number of others, cited increased traffic, the glare from lights and increased noise as reason to have commissioners deny the request. Spencer also questioned whether having the church nearby would affect her property value. Adjacent neighbor Joel Yawn cited similar concerns, adding that “this is a neighborhood” and saying church members had not visited with neighbors to get their opinion.
In the end, Collins drew on the recommendation of the Board of Zoning Appeals to move to deny the request. The vote was 3-2, with Collins and commissioners Tim Lassetter and Paul Poole voting to deny and commissioners Al Smith and Rodney Brooks opposed.