Church wins rezoning to make Walmart home

July 17, 2012

After a public hearing, the Greenfield Common Council on Tuesday approved a rezoning that would enable the Ridge Community Church to move into the soon-to-be vacant Walmart store at 4500 S. 108th St.

The congregation wants to buy the Walmart and make 60,000 square feet of it into a church and lease out the remaining 50,000 square feet.

Alderman Tom Pietrowski cast the only vote against the rezoning. saying the property is too valuable to take part of it off the property tax rolls.

The pastor promised to voluntarily give a payment in lieu of taxes to make up for the city's loss of tax revenue. But that only maintains funding for the city, not the schools or other property taxing units.

At the hearing, church members said the presence of the church would build business in the area and the city would benefit from the active church in other ways.

No one spoke against the rezoning, although two people emailed their objections which were read at the hearing. Both were troubled by the loss of tax base.

Walmart is building a new store around the corner from its current one.

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