Permit denied for Verse By Verse

Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners have denied a special-use permit requested by Verse By Verse Ministries for a public place of worship at a downtown location.

The unanimous vote Tuesday went against a 4-1 recommendation yielded a week earlier by the city’s planning commission.

Verse By Verse was hoping to establish a place of worship at 54 N. Main St., where it meets already for weekly Bible study. But denial of the permit will keep the site from serving as a full-fledged house of worship.

Commissioners stressed they don’t object to Verse By Verse and its right to worship, but the objections lie with a downtown location, which they feel should be reserved for tenants conducting commerce.

Commissioners cited two standards that would violate the city’s zoning ordinance against such a permit.

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