GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH, ROYAL OAK NEEDS NEW LED SIGN, PLANNING COMMISSION REFUSES!!
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Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Campbell Rd. in Royal Oak, a 67-yr. old iconic church of our city, recently requested a permit from the city planning commission to install a new LED messaging sign. After waiting almost 2 years during the moratorium on LED signs, then filing a petition, and being rejected TWICE by The Planning Commission, and this costing the church $600, two planning commissioners' only reason was “ I just don’t like these signs”. This decision, whether based on religious prejudice, personal opinion, or lack of correct information, - was NOT based on the individual case of hardship or unfair zoning and sign areas. This is the way ALL churches, schools, businesses are going if they wish to update to today’s world. We previously submitted an affidavit stating we would be respectful to our surrounding community and the new sign would dim automatically at dusk, never scroll, flash, or change quickly, and would be in accordance with all city ordinances for these types of signs. This would replace the current 23-yr. old manual-lettering fluorescent sign that is larger and brighter than a smaller LED sign will be. Old sign is obsolete and deteriorating, and it is a hardship to even try to change, as this is an older congregation, and it needs a contractor or handyman. In freezing temperatures, it is not even an option.
Additionally, the city has placed all other properties IN THE ALLOWABLE SIGN AREA that surround the church, except for a few homes, but plucked ONLY the church out of the ALLOWABLE SIGN AREA. Even worse, the church is zoned as a “one-family residential”, which it has not been since built in 1950!
This church, with dwindling members partly due to age of the congregation, wishes to promote to the community its services and outreach programs, such as AA, NA, Al-Anon, Debtors Anonymous, our Beacon of Hope Food Pantry that gives free life-sustaining food to those in need, just to name a few. The self-help groups meet daily at Good Shepherd in a safe haven of healing. We also have several other outreach ministries. Good Shepherd is open approx. 75 hrs. a week to these groups that cannot afford to go elsewhere. We want to stay strong not only for our members, but to potential members, groups and folks in need. Additionally, a new LED sign with state-of-the-art technology to attract our community, including the younger demographics and families in our community is the best way to show that we are not inactive and stagnant as our current sign says about us - we are a thriving, welcoming and engaged church that cares about stepping into the modern ways of communication while still holding on to traditional values. THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF ROYAL OAK DOES NOT AGREE!
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