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updated: 3/5/2013 12:20 AM

Palatine OKs plans for larger Ukrainian church

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Despite submitting a proposal that falls well short of the required number of parking spaces, the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church in Palatine has the go-ahead to erect a new, larger building to accommodate its growing congregation.

The Palatine village council Monday unanimously approved plans to replace the existing church at 755 S. Benton St., just north of Illinois Avenue.

"From a code perspective ... I think the church has attempted to mitigate some of the questions before (the council)," Director of Planning and Zoning Ben Vyverberg said.

Among the biggest questions was one over a lack of parking given the 50-year-old church's proposal to have just 51 parking spaces on the property. Village code requires 130 spaces in this case.

But the Rev. Mykhailo Kuzma said the church has an agreement with the adjacent Ukranian Youth Center, immediately to the east, that provides 49 additional spots. Any overflow parking during the two Sunday services would be directed to both Benton and Illinois.

Only two residents attended a neighborhood meeting held by the church in January about the proposal, and both supported the project, village officials said.

The church plans to raze the current church and an accessory structure on the property. In its place would be a roughly 4,000-square-foot building that would more than double the capacity in the sanctuary to 202 worshippers. Kuzma said about 140 families are members of Immaculate Conception in Palatine.

A timeline for construction is premature, however, since fundraising for the project is still ongoing. The church has set up an online donation feature on its website to try to build its coffers.

In addition to the parking variance, the council granted the church exceptions for both a slightly higher roof than permitted under village code, as well as high percentage of lot coverage by the structure and parking lot. The decorative cupolas, the tallest of which will be a 56-foot-tall dome, comply with village code.

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