Church members to wait on rezoning decision

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - There are new developments in the proposal to change the zoning where an Ocean Springs church is located. Members of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church have decided to wait a bit longer before making a final decision on whether to change the current zoning from residential to commercial.

Earlier this week, WLOX News told you about a new restaurant in town that's wanting to get a liquor license. Sakura is 320 feet from the church. But by law, in residential zones, the restaurant must be at least 400 feet away to have a liquor license.

A zoning change for the house of worship would allow the restaurant to sell alcohol, but it could also have benefits for the church. Activities like daycare centers and eldercare, which often operate at churches, can only do so in a commercial zone.

But some members opposed to the change worry that it puts the 100-year-old church at risk of commercial encroachment.

The Reverend Albert Dantzler told WLOX News the congregation is going to re-evaluate the ramifications of rezoning. He expects a decision to be made in about a month.

The owners of Sakura Restaurant told WLOX News they can still sell liquor if they obtain a waiver. So, while rezoning would help in their cause, they will stay out of the decision process.

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