Photo by Curt Yeomans
The Jonesboro City Council is expected to consider a zoning request, next month, from the owners of Swint's Feed and Garden Supply, to allow a church to move into a vacant space at the end of the building.
The Jonesboro City Council is expected to take up a conditional use zoning request that could allow a storefront church to open in the middle of a commercial retail area on North Main Street.
Swint’s Feed and Seed Supply Owner Willis Swint, and his son, Roger Swint, filed the conditional use request on behalf of an unnamed individual seeking to open a church in a suite that is part of a building located at 252 North Main Street, in Jonesboro.
The building, owned by the Swint family, houses space for three other businesses, including Swint’s Feed and Garden Supply. The family has owned the building since 1989, according to Roger Swint.
“We’ve just got somebody wanting to rent space in our building, so they can open up a church,” the younger Swint said.
Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day said the city council is expected to begin looking at the request at its next work session, which is scheduled for Feb. 6, at 6 p.m., in the council chambers, located at 170 South Main St. The building is presently zoned in a “highway commercial district.”
“We’ll discuss it at our work session, and then vote on it at our regular council meeting [on Feb. 13],” Day said. The mayor said she does not have much information about the request, at this time. City Clerk Janice Truhan said the name of the proposed church has not yet been provided.
Roger Swint said the man who wants to open the church came to the Swint family, “sometime back in December,” to inquire about renting space in the building, but Swint added that he does not know what the church will be called, or what denomination it will serve.
He also said the name and contact information of the person who plans to operate the church was not immediately available on Monday.
He explained that the man who plans to operate the church has not yet signed a lease to rent the space. “We’re just trying to get this thing [the conditional use permit request] taken care of, and then we’ll deal with getting a lease signed,” Swint said.
He added that the space where the church may go has previously been a thrift store, a dance studio, and a weight loss center, but it has long been vacant.
“We have three rental spaces in that building, and it’s been a while since anyone was in that far one [at the end of the building],” Swint said. He later explained that there was no sense of urgency to fill the space, but “we’d love to have the rental money coming in.”
If the council approves the conditional use permit, Swint said, the church would possibly be open by early March.