Hickory City Council rezones Church ownership from residential to commercial | Govt. and politics
âWe at Winkler’s Grove Baptist Church are already considered commercial by the federal government,â Deal said. âWe are considered commercial in the sense that we must comply with all IRS laws as a commercial entity. “
In addition to the signs, Deal also said the church wants to expand its parking lot and communion hall.
Deal was the only person to speak at the public hearing. Council ultimately approved the rezoning request.
Mayor Hank Guess and Councilors Tony Wood, Danny Seaver and David Williams voted in favor. Councilors Jill Patton and Charlotte Williams and Councilor David Zagaroli voted against.
By voting in favor, the council rejected the recommendation of the Hickory Regional Planning Commission. The commission feared that “the introduction of commercial zoning might have the potential to alter the characteristics of the existing community.”
Guess revealed during the meeting that he is a member of the church. He consulted with City Attorney John Crone, who said Guess had a legal obligation to vote and could only be excused if there was a specific legal basis.
Since Guess said he received no financial benefit from his association with the church, he voted.