The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints cleared yet another hurdle it quest to build a Mormon Church in Greenfield.
The Mormon Church has talking with the owners of Arlington Park Cemetery, 4001 S. 27th St., about buying approximately 5 acres at the northwest end of the cemetery’s lot at the intersection of Howard Avenue and Loomis Road, directly across the street from Grainger’s Pub and just east of Zablocki Park.
A preliminary site layout plan shows a 17,217-square-foot church and a 185-car parking lot. Right now, the lot is a grassy area with few trees.
On Tuesday, the Greenfield Common Council voted unanimously, 5-0, in favor of altering the city’s comprehensive land use plan changing the 5 acres needed for the Mormon Church from “mixed residential” to “community facilities.” The intended use for that section of the parcel, when the plan was approved in 2008, was multi-family units.
The balance of the 100-acre Arlington Park Cemetery parcel retains its “community facilities" designation.
The city does not have to rezone the land because the entire 100-acre parcel is already zoned institutional, and is tax-exempt. Rezoning stopped the Latter-Day Saints from building at a different Greenfield location 16 months ago.
Dan Grainger, the previous owner of Grainger’s, raised concerns about the traffic a church would bring to that intersection, but Mayor Michael Neitzke said anything built on that lot is bound to increase traffic.
“You’re absolutely right about the traffic,” Neitzke said. “But under the zoning code, anything institutional could go there: hospital clinics, churches, schools, those sorts of things. Under the (previous) land use plan, we’re talking apartment buildings and condominiums.”
In August 2011, the City of Greenfield’s Common Council voted 3-2 against rezoning land at 35th Street and Barnard Avenue from residential to institutional, closing the door on the Latter-Day Saints’ attempt to build a 16,100-square-foot church near Greenfield Middle School. The proposal faced opposition from neighbors, and alderpersons who voted against the rezoning cited traffic concerns.
At that time, Antone Bonner, Stake President of the Milwaukee Wisconsin South Stake of the LDS, said Greenfield was a good, centrally located area for his church’s members and that they’d continue to look for Greenfield locations that worked.
Designs of the church are expected to come before the Common Council at a later date.