MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Meridian Township Planning Commission received a request for a special use permit to construct a 42,000 square-foot church, New Hope Church, on 13.51 acres at the address of 2170 Saginaw Hwy M-78, on the Northeast corner of Saginaw Hwy and Newton Rd.
A special use permit is required for section 86-4 because the requested development will be 42,000 square-feet. There are no flood planes on the property but three wetlands were discovered on the site.
The applicants wish is to increase the width of the sidewalk pathway on the north side of Saginaw Hwy, to go from 7-feet wide to 10-feet wide in the future. The final design will occur during the site plan review.
In 2008 an environmental site analysis on the property was conducted and contamination was found. The site previously was home to a truck-stop restaurant/gas station. A phase one site analysis was conducted again for this project and some limited contamination was found in the form of lead and petroleum product beneath shallow soil.
Since the church is a non-profit organization/tax-exempt they are not able to apply for a brownfield plan with the county. They will be working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to see what kind of monitoring will be required for the contamination. The contamination is predicted to not interfere with the development of the church.
The expansion into a bigger church is requested due to the growing number of members who attend the services, currently there are two services offered.
"How did we get to this point? We're a church that's only seven-years, eight-years-old, the building that formerly Haslett Baptist was given to us in 2007 and there were 17 senior citizens that turned the facility over to us to launch a new church. We began in the fall of 2007 with about 40 people, yesterday, spring break weekend we had 550 people in the building," says Mark Kring, Senior Pastor of New Hope Church. "Easter weekend we had 900+ people in the building so as you can see in the short period of time we've gone through some very rapid growth, We continue to add about 10 percent per year as kind of our growth rate."