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Cedar Grove Zoning Board to Continue Church Expansion Testimony

The Cedar Grove Zoning Board of Adjustment will continue its hearing on a proposal to expand St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church.

The Cedar Grove Zoning Board of Adjustment will continue its hearing on an expansion project proposal for St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, located at 5 Woodstone Drive.

The Board is scheduled to continue its discussion during a public meeting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8 at Cedar Grove Town Hall.

The proposal, which seeks to expand the church while adding additional parking, has drawn a big reaction from residents who are concerned about water run-off from the parking lot, additional traffic on the surrounding roads, additional noise and pollution as well as a potential negative impact on property values.

St. Mark's proposal calls for expanding the church from about 15,000 square feet to around 24,000 square feet by demolishing the existing church and rebuilding while adding additional seating and parking.

In December, the Board heard testimony from Father Moises Bogdady who has been a priest in the church for 11 years.

“We belong to a church 2,000 years and we have a large history behind us,” Bogdady told the Board during the meeting. “We need a place suitable for the history, and need our kids to have the classroom of their Sunday school to be in the same building and not across the street.”

The Board will still need to hear from several other expert witnesses including an architect, traffic expert and a planner before making a decision.

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