Church Puts Controversial Property Up for Sale
A Brighton church is letting go of a portion of property it fought the town for years ago. The church says while its vision hasn't changed, financial plans did.
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Nine years ago, the land that sits off Winton Road near Westfall was the center of a big debate.
In 2004, church leaders at Faith Temple in Brighton owned most of the land and was planning to build on its God-given vision of a new sanctuary and senior housing facility.
According to longtime town councilman Jim Vogel, the town had its plans for parts of the land, which were to expand Buckland Park.
"Was there some disagreement? Well, I think a lot of it was based upon misunderstanding truthfully," said Vogel.
After the town threatened eminent domain, Faith Temple filed a lawsuit against it. In a settlement, both parties agreed to divide the 60-acre parcel.
"So it was basically all was well that ended well," said Vogel.
Until now, Faith Temple's Church leaders say they've found themselves at a crossroads.
"We have come across several challenges and the Board of Trustees recently decided that it's time to sell that land, continue to pursue the vision, just at a different location. So that's what we're doing," said Kim Edlin, Faith Temple Executive Pastor.
Edlin says they are selling their land because it's the best financial decision for the church.
She says the church plans to put it up for sale mid-February and use the money to buy and renovate another commercial space.
"It's a really good time to get out of debt. We preach that and so we need to live that here. In order for us to continue to pursuing that piece of land, we will have to accrue more debt and it's just not something we feel we're supposed to do," said Edlin.
Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle says they are just learning about the church's intention. He's says the town's in no hurry to strike a deal.
"It's something we'll have to look at but it's obviously something before we would consider we'd have to do a lot of research," said Moehle.
The land is still considered a value to the town, but the vision for it now relies on its next owner.