Church Cited Again By The City Of Biloxi For Zoning Violation - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Church Cited Again By The City Of Biloxi For Zoning Violation

Following services at Coalville United Methodist Church, parishioners saw a court summons taped to the door of their Christian Life Center.  

"I didn't try to break any laws or zones or anything like that," says Coalville Pastor Joe Reynolds. 

But Pastor Joe Reynolds says that's apparently what he did when he put a temporary sign  near the churches entrance, for one week.  

"We didn't have the proper paperwork for a temporary sign that was inviting people to a revival."

This isn't the first time the church has gotten in trouble. The other violation happed after Katrina, when the church was serving as a post hurricane distribution center.

A sign was put up in the parking lot to let residents know where they could find help.  

"That was ignorance, says Reynolds of the first violation. "This time it was just that I didn't have time."

"I said I'm going to put it out there, and in 4 or 5 days we are going to take it back out."

The church was cited by the City of Biloxi both times, for a land development ordinance violation.

But this time the pastor will be joined by his flock in court.

"Since it's made out to Coalville United Methodist Church maybe we all will be there, as many that can, and address the issue." 

The issue Reynolds says, is the time and paperwork involved in getting a permit that's free.  

"Well, it's more than asking. You have to go down and fill out a form. You have to draw a sketch of where thats going to be. And then they take it to one of their engineers where it has to be approved. Then you take it to another location in the planning building and then they give you the permit."

Reynolds admits he's guilty and has no intention of fighting the city.

He says he simply wants to make one point.  

"Let's re-look at this bureaucracy that we've created and start injecting some common sense."

By Don Culpepper

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