Mar 6 2011

Piedmont Christian Science Church Site Proposal

The former Christian Science Church next to Piedmont City Hall at 801 Magnolia is being eyed by a non-profit organization for a variety of cultural events and activities.  The City purchased the property from the church in 2003 but has used it sparingly because of structural and maintenance problems.  In recent years it has fallen into disrepair.

A newly formed organization, Piedmont Center For the Arts, Inc., has offered to make some of the needed repairs in exchange for free use of the property.

Resident Timothy Rood has written a letter to the Council asking for consistent application of lease terms: he urges the same terms demanded of the Piedmont Swim Club be placed on the proposed leasee of the Magnolia property. The conditions demanded of the Swim Club ended its operation of the facility, as the Club could not meet the demands of the City specified by the City Attorney.

The proposal is broadly described in the Staff Report without specific lease terms. Since the property is owned by the City, it is undetermined if the City will require the proposed new use of the property  to go through the typical Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process which involves notification of property owners in the area, Planning Commission review and City Council consideration.  During the CUP process consideration is given to compatibility with the neighborhood, hours and days of usage, signage, parking requirements, appropriateness of use, etc.  The CUP process is required of all changes in use in Piedmont’s commercial zone.

There was no mention in the staff report of possible competing interest for the usage of the property by other organizations or uses. The Council is to take the matter up at its meeting on March 7, 2011.

The following photographs are of the exterior of the former Christian Science Church located at the corner of Magnolia and Bonita Avenues in Piedmont.


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