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Neighbors concerned over plans for Lutherville church

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Posted at 12:32 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 18:17:26-04
A Lutherville church is moving forward with plans to build a permanent location on Seminary Avenue, which has some residents of the area concerned about its size. 
 
The property, just east of Falls Road, is on 21 wooded acres about a mile from the beltway. 
 
Neighbors say the issues in the church location include, traffic, water runoff, removing trees and pulling from aquifers that neighbors already use. The neighbors have created a website, that has a petitions with a thousand signatures, and have hired an attorney. 
 
Councilman Wade Kach said the church has done what it can to satisfy the neighbors. "Half of the parking places above what's required by law will be pervious surface so that will help to reduce the runoff."
 
Neighbors continue to push back saying Kach could've stopped the church from buying the property in the beginning stages.
 
"The church doesn't own the property, you have a private party that owns it so is it right for me to go in downzone that property depriving those people of the value of their property, it's been zoned tc-5 for a long time," Kach said.
 
The Baltimore County Council has voted to retain the zoning on the property, and Monday night, a public meeting will be held on the concept plan the church submitted to the county, according to a letter to congregants posted on the church's website

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the auditorium on Shepherd Pratt’s campus. 

"Our goal for that meeting is to listen to the concerns that are expressed and then we will go to work to explore ways that we can address those concerns.  The meeting is a time for us to listen more than it is a time for us to answer questions," the letter reads. "We are confident that, when all is said and done, we can develop a plan that meets our needs and that addresses any reasonable concerns of others in the surrounding community."

Signs that read "Stop the Mega Church on Seminary Avenue." line the road.

Former member of Grace Fellowship, Jim McAteer, said he was involved for 30 years. Six years ago, he left, saying he didn't have the same beliefs the church preaches now.

McAteer has the same feeling as many neighbors, saying the church picked a rocky, wooded area and could've gotten more for their money at a different location.

The church wants to move and build their own space, as they currently rent in Timonium. 

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