Property owner Barb Kochlin has been searching for a tenant to fill the lower level of the old brewery complex in downtown Jordan for quite a while, and for a brief moment, it looked like the right choice was just down the street.
Kochlin has been in talks with Pastor Josh Weikal at Bridge Church, currently located at 231 Broadway St., to rent the 2,200-square-foot lower level of the old brewery complex. But that proposal was denied by the Jordan City Council Monday night. The council followed the planning commission’s recommendation to deny the request based on insufficient parking for the proposed use.
A motion by Councilman Terry Stier to deny the request was met with a tied 3-3 vote. No further motions were offered, effectively denying the request. Councilman Jeff Will was not in attendance.
Under the proposal, the lower level of the building, which is currently office and retail space, would have been converted to religious institution use with an assembly space of 860 square feet. On July 1, the city council approved a parking plan for an adjoining business on Kochlin’s parcel, establishing 16 off-street parking stalls — already short of the parcel’s current requirement of 33 stalls. The parcel is also surrounded by 15 on-street parking spaces.
City Planner Lucinda Meyers said the zoning code allows for some flexibility with parking requirements for properties within the Central Business District. The latest proposal, however, would have increased the need to 47 stalls total. City research indicated the church currently sees about 30 attendees during their Sunday service, but attendance is expected to rise to 80 by 2025. Pastor Weikal told the council he went to the property Sunday morning and counted 54 empty spots within 750 feet of he building.
Councilman Robert Whipps, who voted to deny the request, suggested that Kochlin could have used an adjoining parcel she sold this summer (the Victorian house) for parking.
On the other hand, Councilman Jeremy Goebel, who voted against denying the request, said he views the parking issue as more of a consideration for commercial businesses.
“As far as parking for a church, if people find it inconvenient, they just wont go and I don’t see it as our place to stop that,” he said. “If they’re willing to walk three blocks to go to church, so be it.”
Kochlin put the 150-year-old brewery on the market last year with a $1.35 million price tag. In June 2014, a landslide came through the kitchen wall of one of the upstairs apartments, shutting the building down for two years while cosmetic and structural work was completed.
The property is currently listed with Caibert Real Estate Solutions. Kochlin told the Jordan Independent last year she’s holding out for the perfect buyer with an exciting vision.