A Jupiter Farms church wants to expand

Posted at 8:38 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 20:38:05-04

A meeting in Jupiter Farms tonight will be a chance for residents to learn more about the possible expansion of a local church.

Michael Howard lives in Jupiter Farms for its countryside atmosphere.

“You can see things out here that you don't see everywhere from horses to people enjoying the outdoors,” said Howard.

The population is about 12,000. There’s just one shopping plaza.

“We joke all the time that going to the grocery store at six in the evening is social hour because you run into everybody you know,” said Howard.

Calvary Church is at the sound end of the plaza. Church membership is growing. So, it wanted to do a 50,000 square foot expansion on the land the church owns behind it.

“Now the pastor has to preach at least three times every Sunday morning because their sanctuary is limited in size,” said Donaldson Hearing, the land planner and architect, with Cotleur & Hearing.

But the group Jupiter Farms Residents started a petition calling for the church to scale back its plan. They say the expansion doesn't fit the usage allowed for the site, and would cause too much congestion.

“You're no longer protecting the rural tier when you're inviting that much traffic from other areas into our area,” said Matthew Gitkin, the president of Jupiter Farms Residents.

Last week, the group met with the developers and came to an agreement: to downsize the project by about 15,000 square feet.

The developers say can downsize their plan and create a facility that will benefit the community.

“It basically becomes a community facility,” said Hearing. “They're generally open to the public. They don't have closed doors.”

Developers plan to submit a proposal to the county in the next few weeks.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m at the Pavilion in Jupiter Farms Park.

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