BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a zoning change that will allow a faith-based child day care to operate at the former Forest Avenue Congregational Church located at 300 Forest Ave.
Property owner Brian Duprey said he hopes to open the planned Bangor Christian Daycare and Preschool for a maximum of 49 students in August.
He said he expects Power Source Ministries, a nondenominational church that has leased half of the 112-year-old church building, to begin offering Sunday worship services there within about four weeks if he obtains a certificate of occupancy from the city.
The church is now offering worship services for its more than 30 parishioners at the Bangor Motor Inn and Conference Center.
The council vote, which came with favorable recommendation from the planning board, rezones the property from a residential district to a government and institutional services district, which is intended for nonprofits, schools, medical offices and public agencies, among other uses.
Unlike a previous proposal that failed, the change comes with contract restrictions that permanently limit the property’s use to a church and a day care unless changed by the council.
Neighbors voiced concern about the potential for alternate uses of the property in the future when Duprey first sought the zone change.
Duprey is CEO of Duprey Enterprises Inc., which owns and operates Little Angels Daycare and Preschool, which has three locations in Bangor and one in Old Town.
The zone change comes after Duprey said previously he would start his own church in order to get the day care running as an allowed accessory use for a church.
The current plan means the property will not be tax-exempt, as it would have been had Duprey started his own church. Duprey said the church pays about $5,300 a year in property taxes.
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