Rural Megachurches: Assets Or Environmental Threats?

Critics say large-scale churches seeking to locate in rural preserves increase traffic, invite strip malls, pave over open space, and undermine conservation efforts.
July 23, 2003, 12pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"...large-scale churches have emerged as another threat to rural set-asides in the Washington suburbs. As worship centers grow ever bigger and real estate prices ever higher, churches are increasingly looking to locate in areas designated for low-density development, where land is available and price tags are affordable...As churches have changed from corner parishes to mega structures with theater-size sanctuaries, sprawling parking lots and busy schools, so, too, have attitudes about them. Once considered unquestioned assets to communities, churches seeking rural acreage are now the subjects of hot debate. Do they provide a neighborhood with good deeds and practical services such as day care, or do they do more harm than good by paving over green space and increasing traffic, like any other sizable development?"

Thanks to Adam Ploetz

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Published on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 in The Washington Post
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