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Plans for church concern resident

August 26, 1998

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A resident's concerns that a new church on Swan Pond Road will create an unsafe amount of traffic didn't prevent the Berkeley County Planning Commission from granting the project preliminary approval Monday night.

The "serpentine" road features two hard curves and obscuring brush near the site where Family Life Church of God plans to construct a 3,600-square-foot church building, Swan Pond Road resident Karl Voss said during a public hearing on the project.

The church has only about 25 to 30 members and probably won't grow beyond 100 members, a representative of the project told the commission.

The West Virginia Division of Highways made removing obstructions to the site a condition of approval, he said.

Given the rapid growth he has seen in his own church in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and in other area churches, Voss said he expects the church will be larger than the predicted 100 members.

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The road, with its heavy pedestrian traffic, just can't safely handle the increase in vehicular traffic, he said.

"I think that's a pretty bad place to have any sort of gathering like that," said Voss, who said he's worried about his three small children and the numerous others who live on the road.

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