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Fate of Cedar Grove Church Expansion Remains Uncertain

The Cedar Grove Zoning Board is scheduled to continue the St. Mark Coptic Church expansion application in March.

When the Cedar Grove Zoning Board next meets on Tuesday, March 12, it’s uncertain if the panel will revisit a local church’s request to expand.

After questions arose about the new church infringing on wetlands, the church attorney sought an adjournment for the February meeting in a letter to the board.

The attorney for the church is appealing a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection wetlands report and conclusion the church may need to be relocated and design plans may need to be revised.

While the church awaits the DEP decision, it remains unclear whether the matter will be resolved in time for the March meeting.

“The ultimate resolution of this issue is unknown,” said church attorney Robert Gaccione in his letter to the board.

The church, located at 5 Woodstone Drive in Cedar Grove, aims to completely demolish the existing church and rebuild the facility to be able to house the needs of its congregation, expanding from 15,000 to 24,000 square feet, with the capacity for 492 seats and increase parking.

A group of about 50 residents have attended the zoning board meetings to show opposition citing concerns over water runoff from the elimination of trees, traffic congestion and noise.

“We think it would irrevocably decimate the area financially and ecologically,” said High Point resident Stacy Kilkenny, who lives close to the proposed project.

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