Council to consider whether local church may demolish houses

Columbus City Council members will be asked to decide whether a local church is allowed to tear down three homes near its facility to create space for a parking lot.

The request from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 719 Fifth St., is being forwarded from the Columbus Plan Commission to the city council without any recommendation as to whether the council should approve it or not after plan commission members could not come to a consensus.

The council is expected to take up the matter during a 6 p.m. meeting April 2 in council chambers at Columbus City Hall.

The church is seeking to demolish three existing houses it owns at 903, 911, and 915 Fourth St., creating roughly 18,000-square-feet of space that the church plans to make into a parking lot.

The three unoccupied homes are side-by-side on the south side of Fourth Street, extending east from Sycamore Street.

Along with other programming, the parking lot would serve clients of LifeWorks, the church’s intensive outpatient program (IOP) and counseling services, said Executive Director of Ministries Mike Hinckfoot and Director of LifeWorks Jan Kiel.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.