Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2014

Currently: 63° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Zoning Commission denies plan to build church

Site of proposed church

An Enterprise Township church is still searching for a permanent home after the Clark County Zoning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to deny its request to build a new place of worship on the corner of Robindale Road and Ullom Drive.

A number of neighbors expressed concerns about the size of the building proposed by the Debre Mihret St. Michael’s Ethiopian Orthodox Teawhido Church and its influence on surrounding homes.

St. Michael’s, a congregation of 236, currently worships at a temporary location on South Las Vegas Boulevard.

Resident Guy Snow told the commission he had invested in a solar power system for his home, and the proposed church could reduce his access to the sun’s energy up to 70 percent, based on research he had conducted. Snow is registered with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.

The church planned to erect a 34-foot building on the back of the L-shaped property, so it would face east per the denomination’s religious requirements. The property borders Snow’s residence on two sides, and the proposed sanctuary would have shaded his solar panels.

Another point of contention was the church’s request to reduce a required buffer between the church and the adjacent rear property from 30 to 20 feet.

Ultimately, the commission declined the church’s request, without prejudice, so the church may submit another plan if it chooses.

Commissioner Steve Sisolak stipulated that any new plan move the structure to the front of the property with no access to Ullom Drive, a residential street. He also insisted that the congregation maintain the 30-foot buffer.

Dick Bonar, who represented the church before the commission, could not be reached for further comment about the church’s plans.

He said at the meeting that the congregation would redraw its plan if moving the structure was required.