CENTERVILLE -- Centerville has agreed to lease a portion of the performance hall at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts to be used as a place of worship each Sunday.
A new local church called Bridge Community approached the city about using the black box in the performance hall. This is the smaller of the two available performance spaces in the hall.
City Manager Steve Thacker said before that could be approved, changes are needed in the city code and various agreements need to be implemented.
This is because the performance center is in a public facility high zone, which does not normally allow church use. This zone is meant to accommodate public and quasi-public uses, he said.
"A place of worship was just not permitted in that zone," Thacker explained. "That's why we had to see if that was something officials wanted to have allowed."
The planning commission determined a church is appropriate in the zone as a conditional use. The city council agreed to the amendment in a recent meeting.
The amendment states that a church or place of worship could be located by permit in a public facility high or medium zone. It still does not allow them in the low zone, which is established for parks, forest service land and conservation areas.
"It's now a permitted use with a conditional-use permit," Thacker said. "It is in place in city code."
This means that such use has to be approved by the city on a case-by-case basis.
Meanwhile, in the past two weeks, the center's administrative control board has been working to formalize a rental agreement.
The plan is to rent the space to the church for $1,500 a month or $18,000 each year. The church will have use of the building from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. This agreement is for one year.
"Sunday is not a day that we would normally have performances there, so this works well," Thacker said.
Staff said the changes to the public facility zone give religious organizations more location options.