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Sketch plan presented for Living Stone Christian Conference Center

Published March 03. 2010 05:00PM

The main item of business at Tuesday's Washington Township supervisors' meeting was the presentation of a sketch plan for the Living Stone Christian Conference Center. During the discussion it was decided that the word "conference" was misleading and the proposed use could be better identified with another word.

Bill Gilmore, engineer, and Scott Miller, architect, presented the sketch plan for Living Stone Church of Conshohocken - a church with 1,000 members.

However, the site, the White Christmas Tree farm on High Hill Road, will be used for a retreat. It is not a matter of moving the church to Washington Township.

The church proposes that the chalet will be used for services on Saturday and Sunday. Consequently, they plan overnight accommodations for up to 50 people. No extended stays are proposed.

Some dry wells and some graveled areas will be removed.

Residential options include six single-story units or three two-story units. No decision has been made.

Miller said the site will be used by youth, by elders or other small groups from Living Stone. He expects there will be a maximum of 150 in the prayer hall. "Conference center does not describe the purpose," he said.

It will be in use year round but only on weekends.

Township engineer Roy Stewart said he, township zoning and the church representatives should get together because he sees zoning issues.

For a church, which is permitted in the zone, living quarters for a priest or pastor would be an accessory use, but the living quarters as discussed would not.

He stressed the importance of determining what they really want or they may not get it.

Solicitor John Ashley told them to be as specific as possible.

Gilmore said the church has to be comfortable with the uses, and Miller said the footprint may change from that on the sketch.

Stewart said they should tell zoning what they really want to do. He said sanitary sewers may be a problem because he is not familiar with the soils in that area.

In other business: The Northern Lehigh Historical Society wants the township to become a member. It was approved.

Donna Walters was appointed as an alternate member of the zoning hearing board.

The only public comment was a question as to whether there would be a cleanup day. Supervisor Josh Friebolin said it is tentatively scheduled for the end of May.

During the Tuesday workshop earlier in the day supervisors agreed to meet with Stewart to plan the completion of the rail-trail project.

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