Downers Grove gives church permission to expand

  • Belmont Bible Church in Downers Grove is planning to build a two-story, 32,000-square-foot church and school at the southwest corner of Belmont Road and Inverness Avenue.

    Belmont Bible Church in Downers Grove is planning to build a two-story, 32,000-square-foot church and school at the southwest corner of Belmont Road and Inverness Avenue. Courtesy of Excel Architects

 
 
Updated 1/13/2021 5:37 PM

Belmont Bible Church in Downers Grove can move ahead with its plan to construct a new building.

The Downers Grove Village Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to annex nearly 2 acres at the southwest corner of Belmont Road and Inverness Avenue so the church can expand. The council also rezoned the property and gave Belmont Bible permission to operate a combined church and private school.

 

"This is a new development at Belmont and Inverness -- a redevelopment really -- that we're all really excited about going forward," Mayor Bob Barnett said. "We wish certainly the best of luck to the owners."

The church at 5430 Belmont Road is planning to expand into a new two-story, 32,000-square-foot building. The multipurpose structure will be built in phases.

Once completed, the new building's ground floor will feature a house of worship, while offices and classrooms for a preschool and K-12 students will be on the second floor.

"The new construction will hopefully begin this calendar year if permitting is completed," Pastor Mark Moore said.

Moore said he expects construction to take 10 to 11 months.

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He added the existing church building and a nearby single-family house will be demolished before construction begins.

A large honey locust tree along Inverness will be removed as part of the construction. At a previous council meeting, Community Development Director Stan Popovich said the church will pay for the tree's removal and plant 16 native trees on the property as a replacement.

"There is one very huge visible scar that runs about halfway down the tree to almost the base," Commissioner Marge Earl said. "And there is significant insect damage inside that scar."

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