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A library of useful articles on every topic impacting your PraiseBuilding.


Site Development Limitations

Here are some of the situations that create a demand for a larger church site: a. Many communities have incorporated a very low ratio for impervious development of the church site. The term “impervious” refers to the site development that limits storm water penetration, creating more runoff from the site. Building footprint and roof, sidewalks, and paved parking (and even stone parking in some cases) aretypical site development classified as impervious. For example, the State of New Jersey is very strict in this regard as observed in my recent church projects in that state. Vineland limits impervious development to 20 percent of the site. Haddon Heights allows only 25 percent, and Hamilton Township (near Princeton and Kendall Park) allows 30 percent. Trenton has a similar requirement. This means that only this small portion of the site can be developed with buildings, sidewalk, and parking, leaving as much as 80 percent of the site as green area. Therefore, the site would have to be much larger than one acre per 100 people. Variances are seldom approved to set this limitation aside. b. The ratio of people per ...

Church Site Selection

Let`s use TEN STEPS as logical, sequential progress toward a desired goal. These are steps that you must be acquainted with as a church planter, pastor, or another church leader entrusted with this responsibility. Rarely will you find a realtor who understands the requirements of a church. The realtor is primarily a salesperson. You must equip yourself to make wise decisions. Rely on those of your church who have experience in these areas to assist you. Pastors should not act as if they are infallible in areas where they are not skilled. There is wisdom in counsel. Step One: Locate a stable, growing region for a new church. Determine who it is you plan to reach. If an ethnic ministry is your plan, you must locate in a stable area accessible to that group. In other cases, set your sights toward a new growth area that needs a church such as you espouse. Step Two: Develop a strong church of people before developing a church site. Every family can`t afford to own a home. You must develop the ability to provide ...

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act: Full Text

106th Concress of the United States of America  106th CONGRESS 2nd Session S. 2869 AN ACT To protect religious liberty, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000`. SECYION 2. PROTECTION OF LAND USE AS RELIGIOUS EXERCISE. (a) SUBSTANTIAL BURDENS- (1) GENERAL RULE- No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly, or institution-- (A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. (2) SCOPE OF APPLICATION- This subsection applies in any case in which-- (A) the substantial burden is imposed in a program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability; (B) the substantial burden affects, or removal of that substantial burden would affect, commerce with foreign nations, ...

Land Use & Zoning: ACLJ`s Position

Churches across the nation are increasingly facing discrimination from local zoning authorities with respect to location or improvement of their facilities. Zoning Boards often want to eliminate churches from downtown and commercial areas because churches do not generate retail and tax revenue. They also attempt to restrict churches in residential areas for allegedly creating traffic and noise problems. The result has been that our nation`s houses of faith have their freedom to worship where and how they choose violated by ignorant or hostile zoning officials.  In response to the religious discrimination against churches, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) , which protects religious land uses from discrimination. RLUIPA states that government zoning authorities may not use zoning laws to discriminate against churches unless they have a compelling state interest in doing so. Even if a municipality can show that its zoning laws serve a compelling interest, it still must demonstrate that its actions are the least restrictive means of protecting that interest. In most cases, those interests may be easily served by restrictions that ...

CHECKLIST: Choosing the Right Property Location

Staff Writer, ChurchConstruction.com When you select a building site, consider some of the following items. Then use the checklist provided to evaluate the feasibility of each option you uncover. 1. Accessibility of Site - If access roads and utilities are not already available to the site, the church will be responsible for paying for and providing roads and facilities. This can be costly. So if possible, choose a site with existing utilities and other services. Nevertheless, if you can not find a site with existing utilities, find an area in the community under the process of being developed. Sometimes the local utilities will share the costs of putting in the lines and pipes since you are helping the advancement of community development. Check this option out as one possible solution. 2. Traffic Flow - You will need to consider whether or not the site provides easy access for the workers and equipment during construction; and easy access after construction for the church members and visitors. If you are planning a renovation or the construction of new buildings on the same site, you ...

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