Church to Convert Former Girl Scout HQ

A special exception use granted by the Ann Arbor planning commission will allow the Memorial Christian Church to use a building at 1900 Manchester Road, off of Washtenaw Avenue. It has been owned by and used as the Ann Arbor regional headquarters for the Girl Scouts Council. The church was previously located at 730 Tappan – the corner of Tappan and Hill – in a building that was purchased by the Michigan Alpha Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Planning commissioners granted the request at their Nov. 20, 2012 meeting. It will allow the church to convert a 8,104-square-foot two-story office building to a church use for seating up to 111 people. This use is permitted under Chapter 55 (zoning) of the city code. No exterior changes are planned. The church hours are Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 7-9 p.m., and occasionally at other times during the week. There’s a 37-space parking lot on the site, with overflow parking on Manchester.

The church’s pastor, Bob Brite, spoke to commissioners during a public hearing on the request, reporting that the church currently has 30-40 members – and they are looking for a location where there’s room for growth. He invited commissioners to Sunday service. In the new building, the sanctuary will be on the second floor. The church hopes to lease space on the first floor to nonprofit tenants.

This brief was filed from the second-floor city council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron, where the planning commission meets. A more detailed report will follow: [link]