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Connexions Church Expansion Plans Move Forward

The Dexter Village Council will consider a special land use permit for the church at its meeting on Monday.

The congregation at in Dexter got a big boost of support from members of the Dexter Village Planning Commission on Monday. The commission voted 8-0 to recommend the Village Council approve a special land use permit for the church's proposed expansion.

The church, which currently rents classrooms at , is planning to lease 5,472 square feet of the Bluewater Development property, located at 7444 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd.

"We celebrated our fourth year as a public church this year and our congregation continues to grow," pastor Ron Gelaude said. "The use of the school is understandably limited. As we offer more support to the community, we will need more space to work from."

The congregation currently boasts a membership of 55 families, which is up from six in 2007. Gelaude said the expansion will allow the church to add an administrator's office, worship center, fellowship area and play area for youth.

"In the summer the school district has to shift us around to different buildings to accommodate us, which creates an identity problem," Gelaude said. "A more permanent location would give us the ability to help local families and charitable organizations in the Dexter and Chelsea communities."

The council will consider whether or not to accept a major amendment to its planned unit development (PUD) agreement with Bluewater, which was approved in 2002. The agreement states that "only those uses permitted and special in the professional business district of the village zoning ordinance will be allowed in the development." Those uses primarily deal with office and financial institutions. In 2003, the council approved an amendment to the PUD to allow Morning Star Child Care to lease space in the same building.

The Village Council meets at 7:30 p.m. at the on Monday.

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