Plan­ners OK Mar­shallese church

Project in works for years; ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony likely in fall

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - SCAR­LET SIMS Scar­let Sims can be reached by email at ssims@nwadg.com or on Twit­ter @NWAS­car­lets.

FAYET­TEVILLE — Wash­ing­ton County Plan­ning Board mem­bers gave the nod for a Mar­shallese church to fin­ish de­tails of con­struc­tion and open soon near the in­ter­sec­tion of Old Wire and East Gul­ley roads.

The Jarin Rarik Dron-United Church of Christ is ex­pected to open within a cou­ple of months, said John Dun­can Camp­bell, the gen­eral con­trac­tor who ap­plied for the per­mit. The Mar­shallese church is among the first new churches of its kind in the U.S., Camp­bell said.

A ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony is ex­pected to take place this fall, he said.

The 6,000-square-foot church on 2.5 acres in­cludes a fel­low­ship hall, women’s fel­low­ship area with a warm­ing kitchen, of­fice, Sun­day school room and choir room, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments pre­sented to the Plan­ning Board and Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ments. The church can hold 312 people, ac­cord­ing to plan­ning records.

The prop­erty is in Fayet­teville’s plan­ning area.

The project has been in the works for years and is nearly com­plete, said Se­nior Plan­ner Nathan Crouch.

The per­mit for the church was ap­proved in 2011, and the pre­lim­i­nary large-scale per­mit was ap­proved in 2014, ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous plan­ning board meet­ing min­utes.

The Plan­ning Board ap­proved the fi­nal land de­vel­op­ment re­quest pend­ing meet­ing cer­tain con­di­tions rec­om­mended by plan­ning staff. That in­cludes pro­tect­ing the sep­tic sys­tem from driv­ers park­ing on the sys­tem, Crouch said.

The church also must re­ceive fire mar­shal in­spec­tion ap­proval and a plan­ning staff in­spec­tion ap­proval, ac­cord­ing to plan­ning doc­u­ments.

No one has ob­jected to the church’s con­struc­tion, plan­ning staff said Thurs­day. One neigh­bor sent a let­ter sup­port­ing the church in 2011, ac­cord­ing to board min­utes.

Plan­ning board mem­bers ap­proved the church with lit­tle dis­cus­sion Thurs­day.

The per­mit for the church was ap­proved in 2011, and the pre­lim­i­nary large-scale per­mit was ap­proved in 2014, ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous plan­ning board meet­ing min­utes.

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