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updated: 8/2/2011 2:54 PM

After 20 years, Wheaton church may have a home

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After a couple of false starts, a Wheaton-based church could soon have a home of its own for the first time in 20 years.

Church of the Resurrection, an Anglican Church with missionary connections to Christians in Rwanda, likely will be allowed to move into a new building on the western edge of downtown.

The city council Monday agreed to move forward with a plan to change zoning of the site on the 900 block of West Union Avenue.

The site, which contained the old Alcoa Flexible Packaging plant until it closed in summer 2006, is zoned manufacturing right now.

Before it can be rezoned to a church, however, staff members must address a potential problem with street parking city officials said could hinder emergency vehicles.

Councilman Phil Suess said Lincoln Avenue, which lies north of the site and would provide a second access point to the church's parking lot, is too narrow to support parking on both sides of the street. Officials will look at restricting parking on one side of that street, which ends at Lincoln Marsh Natural Area.

Church representatives agreed and said it would not be a problem.

"Very few neighbors would have been impacted and our intention is not to use the streets for parking," said Peter Bianchini, the project manager on the site. "It does get narrow and it would be wise to restrict it."

The 57-year-old congregation meets at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn. Ever since they outgrew a former location at Route 59 and Garys Mill Road in West Chicago, the church has been mobile and currently houses its main offices in a building it shares with other businesses and religious groups.

In the late 1980s, the struggling church was boosted by a group of Wheaton College students who started to attend worship services.

The plans to move into the six-acre site are far more modest than the church's previous attempts at securing its own site.

In 2009, DuPage County Board rejected its efforts to move to a 21-acre parcel between West Chicago and Winfield that would have housed a 1,500-seat sanctuary, a small chapel and a retreat center. Neighbors of that proposal balked at its size and scope.

The new proposal is scaled down and would include a 990-seat sanctuary and office space.