C.P. panel advances plan for church, music venue, tattoo parlor

2013-12-23T22:30:00Z 2013-12-23T22:36:05Z C.P. panel advances plan for church, music venue, tattoo parlorSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
December 23, 2013 10:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A proposed combination church, music venue and tattoo parlor heads next to the City Council after narrowly winning a Board of Zoning Appeals recommendation Monday.

RAW Church hopes to open within a month at 901 Summit St., church leader Josh Connell said. The church needs a variance to operate at the site, which is in an industrially zoned area.

The zoning appeals board voted 3-2 to favorably recommend the variance be granted. The City Council has the final say.

Concerns by board members centered on the music venue aspect of the church and whether church members would be able to keep crowd size, noise and security within recommended limits during music events.

In favorably recommending for the variance, the zoning board on Monday set a six-month probationary period to determine whether noise, security and crowd size are being properly managed.

About a dozen RAW church members sat in the audience while church leaders provided details for what is planned at the Summit Street location, including regular Sunday worship and separate evening ministries for men, women and youths. 

Music events featuring local and national touring bands were proposed to be held mostly between 6 and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Connell said. Tattoos would be done by appointment.

The music events and tattoo parlor are part of the church's mission of reaching out to people, church leaders said.

Pyrotechnics wouldn't be permitted and bands would not be lodged at the site during the music events, Connell said. A zero tolerance policy against alcohol, drugs and fighting would be in place, and work would be done to sound proof the building, he said. 

Zoning appeals board members said the church did a good job refining details of its plans at the board's request. The group's first petition for a variance in October was deferred pending further information.

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