by Marion Marks
Determined to expand, it never been a secret that leaders of Broadmoor Baptist Church(BBC) still have a master plan. In 2000, their plan made it clear that some in the church had designs on many of their neighbors’ homes. In 2000 it was necessary for neighbors to work together to make sure the city council understood all the facts of the neighborhood case. The culmination of the conflict was the 2002 city council vote that ruled that the church could not proceed with their plan. The city council understood that homeowners and residents in the Broadmoor neighborhood were being treated as second-class citizens. NEIGHBORS WIN ROUND ONE!
Since the 2002 city council decision that BBC leaders could not close Atlantic Street, it has been clear that BBC leadership strategically determined to acquire all property in the path of their proposed expansion. BBC leaders believed after they made their acquisitions they could warm the neighbors to their expansion plans, and that, if they could acquire all the property, the BBC Master Plan would have to be ruled “acceptable”. The problem appears that leaders have only inflamed more of the neighbors.
A church may be the largest entity in this section of town, but even a church is still required to abide by laws and neighborhood guidelines before they change the character of the neighborhood for all residents. Once again, BBC leadership is trying to “nibble” at the character of their neighborhood, one piece of property at a time. Yet, if anyone believes it will end with just these parking lots, they haven’t studied the master plan.
Recently, construction began of the BBC “revised”campus expansion, before gaining the approval of the neighbors and even starting construction prior to having all required permits in place. Blatant bully tactics have been opposed by the neighbors and opposed by the MPC and the ZBA.
Leaders of the BBC are once again pushing community standards and the facts need to be clear to all citizens, because it could happen in your neighborhood next. The Broadmoor neighbors’ whole campaign at this point is to give the city council facts that will result in leaders of the BBC ceasing any future expansion without the complete approval of the neighbors.
Some leaders seem to have missed the Bible lesson that states an all-encompassing principle: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “As yourself” means literally as yourself – without any difference or variation. I’m suggesting all leaders needs to look inward as they examines “Love.” This is consistent with a failure to understand the Tenth Commandment: “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s house…” Some leaders of BBC seem to rewrite the law and neighborhood regulations as they go.
I BELIEVE THE VERDICT OF ROUND TWO SHOULD BE A RESOUNDING NO! Not until all residents work together to develop an acceptable program to expand, a good plan that is in character of their whole neighborhood, only then can any expansion policy be permitted. Otherwise we mock the concept of community planning and standards for growth.
(And the green slashes on the diagram only represent a portion of homeowners who are affected by the proposed changes!)