Naked City

Hyde Park Baptist Church

Naked City
Photo By John Anderson

After nearly three months of City Council-ordered negotiations, Hyde Park Baptist Church, whose property covers several city blocks in the heart of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood, filed a site plan on March 3 for a garage that would be five stories high, have minimal or no setbacks from its front wall on Ave. D., and would cover most of another city block. Neighbors, angered that the church filed its plan before negotiations could be completed, have initiated a weekly Sunday-morning protest in front of the church. According to the zoning ordinance which currently governs church property (an ordinance that a neighborhood lawyer says is of "questionable validity"), the church can build its garage virtually without restriction; but under the terms of a neighborhood plan currently pending before council, the church might have to conform its development to a new, more restrictive ordinance which would cover the entire neighborhood. Until the plan is approved or church leaders agree to negotiate, neighbors and others concerned by the development will continue to protest in front of the church, located at 3901 Speedway, every Sunday from 10:15 to 11am.

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