M. Douglas Wray

Longmont Wakes Up

Fascinating. After months of nearly-no-coverage, the Times Call’s online presence (http://www.timescall.com/) suddenly has a poll up about LifeBridge Christian Church’s Annex. Golly. It’s right on the front page – go vote and leave a comment.

Here’s the results as of 3:11pm MT (waves at Bob) :

No One Wants LifeBridge

and here’s a sampling of the comments:

  • Tax them and they will not come, all the better. I loved the comment “They should be required to add a pawn shop, used car dealer and at least 2 check cashing stores to make sure that it keeps with the spirit of Longmont.” Truer words were never spoken. Give it to Weld County and good riddence.
  • Longmont will be just another Colorado Springs for northern Colorado. I don’t want a religious commune in my city.
  • Sounds like Jim Jones and the peoples temple to me.
  • This whole Life Bridge thing confuses me. It sounds like they are saying, let me move into your back yard, you supply the power, gas, water, etc.. Provide a police and fire department, and other services, but by the way, we will not pay the bill, you will. Will the tax revenue from the Union Project be able enough to cover all Longmont’s expenses? Can someone enlighten me on this? Please.
  • Sure, why not more homes? Lets eliminate a few more jobs while were at it too! Or maybe we can build another walmart, and all work there.
  • “I was hungry and you gave Me… a shopping mall? Thirsty, and you gave Me an events center? Naked and you gave Me an office building. Sick and you built Me an apartment complex.” Hmm… I’ve never seen that in the Bible…
  • They have as much right as anybody to build. We should in no way permit it to be tax exempt. The houses and businesses are personal property and not designed for religious worship.
  • I agree that the fact that a church has taken this on is not the biggest issue. But Longmont doesn’t need to look at this deal as if we owe anything to help it along. Only if it’s right for the city should the city annex this development. I think that people object to the “enclave” aspect of LifeBridge, a separation from the rest of us while wanting all the same services. Fine, but the city should not be compelled to make any concessions or lose money.
  • I understand the fear of letting Weld County take over the property and allow anything to happen….but it doesn’t seem like Longmont is doing much better by giving every exemption the church asks for. Exemptions on building heights, density, and required affordable housing. How can a church, which represents compassion, want to minimize the affordable homes it builds, and not even allow them on their property, next to their $800,000 homes. That’s not the kind of church I believe in.
  • How may more houses do we need in Longmont? Currently there are over 800 homes on the market.
  • As someone has already stated, churches are NOT businesses, and one that wants to build a “complex” has become a builder and should not receive the tax exemption. What’s more, I find the entire idea of it not just a bit disconcerting that there is even a plan for this type of “community” at Longmont’s edge. A church should have a church alone and see to the spiritual needs of its congregation…this is just too much. Becoming a developer with shops and neighborhoods, that’s materialism at its finest, but is it a church?
  • Please limit the extent and duration of “vested” development rights so that future city leaders will have sufficient flexibility to protect the interests of the city as a whole.
  • Why shouldn’t churches build developments? There’s no scriptural or theological basis in Christianity for this kind of “kingdom” building on earth. It’s an effort to serve both God and Mammon, which is just wrong. From the standpoint of public policy, as long as there’s the possibility of exemption from taxes, I don’t think it is in the public interest for this to be built. As it stands, it’s an entity that will ultimately place claims on all the benefits of public services, while having none of the fiscal responsibility the rest of us bear.
  • A church is entitled to tax exempt status. However, church funded housing and businesses SHOULD NOT be tax exempt. Lifebridge, whose weekly operating costs well exceed $60,000, stands to make a huge profit from this development and should be subject to the same taxes as any other developer. What would your opinion be if it were a Muslim organization trying to do the same thing?
  • They should be required to add a pawn shop, used car dealer and at least 2 check cashing stores to make sure that it keeps with the spirit of Longmont.
  • The only issue I have with the Life Bridge Community is what is taxable. The only part of that place that should be tax exempt should be the church it self. If the rest of the community, including the stadium, is subject to regular taxes, then build it. If the entire place is tax exempt, then I am going to start my own church.
  • I urge everyone to visit www.whatsinitforlongmont.org! Lifebridge “4C” has much more planned for this development than we know. Where is the separation of Church and State? They do not deserve special privilages! Develop with the same rules as all of the others! Be Smart Longmont, NOTHING good will come of this. Maybe a few tax dollars (except all of the $$ that is exempt from tax), but we can create tax revenue with other builders! Churches should not be businesses! There is a TREMENDOUS amount of profit in this development, why cant they be treated like everyone else…Longmont Owes Lifebridge Nothing.

Update

Sun. Jul 29, 1:37am MT (HI BOB!!!!!!!!)

Sunday July 29, 1:35am

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