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Pine Grove Church Takes Exception To Parking Rule

By Staff | Jan 14, 2009

Richard Chapple, pastor of the Chapel of Victory Church, appeared before Pine Grove Town Council Monday night to discuss the parking situation on town hill.

He demanded an apology from council who reportedly said the church’s parking lot is empty while cars are parked on the street, making it difficult to navigate.

“The parking lot is never empty,” said Chapple. He said since people other than those attending the church sometimes park there, at times cars leave the lot after services begin, making it appear that it is not fully utilized. However, it is never empty.

Councilman Roy Justice said if he ever said the lot was empty, he apologizes, but he said a problem remains with the parking situation. For a year-and-a-half the town has received many complaints about the cars blocking the two-way road. “There are numerous complaints about how they can’t get up and down the road,” said Justice. “That leaves us no alternative but to put up ‘No Parking’ signs.”

Harold Brinker, also attending the meeting on behalf of the church, said the town had previously given permission for parking on the street during church hours.

Whatever past arrangements may have been made, Justice said “No Parking” signs were going to be erected on the street all the way from the old bank building to the S-curve, a total of eight-tenths of a mile as permitted by the state Division of Highways.

Chapple said the church is trying to be a good neighbor. “Our parking lot has helped the people of Pine Grove,” he said, adding that it also removed a disheveled building from the town.

“The thing that bothers me more is no one every came to us,” said Chapple. Mayor Dave Barr had told council he had contacted the church about the situation previously numerous times, but Chapple said the two had only had a brief conversation.

Barr was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting so council tabled the issue until a meeting when Barr was able to be there to discuss the matter.