Sidney Hines is working his way through the zoning process for a necessary change that would permit him to renovate an old church building into his home.

The Richmond Advisory Plan Commission voted 10-0 during its May 22 meeting to recommend Richmond Common Council approve Hines’ request to rezone 1720 Holsapple Road from institutional to medium-density, single-family zoning. The single-family zoning matches zoning of surrounding properties that are also used for single-family residences. 

Bruce Wissel, the plan commission’s chair, said that finding placement for older church structures can be difficult, so Hines’ effort is a chance to prevent blight with a use that conforms with the neighborhood. Planning staff recommended approval. Dustin Purvis, the city’s planning director, said it’s unrealistic to deny the zoning change when there’s single-family zoning all around the property.

According to county property records, Hines in April bought the property and the brick building that was constructed in 1948.

Plan commission members also voted unanimously to recommend approval of a zoning change that would allow Kitchel Corp. LLC to build a 90-foot-by-200-foot pole barn at 4465 Union Pike. The land has medium-density, single-family residential zoning and Kitchel has requested that be changed to agricultural zoning.

The land is currently used for agriculture, but single-family zoning prevents the barn from being built. The barn, which would mostly store farm equipment, is acceptable under agricultural zoning.

Both issues were referred to plan commission by Common Council and will return to council for final decisions.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 29 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.