Marietta church, city will mediate property dispute - CBS46 News

Marietta church, city will mediate property dispute

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MARIETTA, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Nearly 150 Roswell Street Baptist Church members packed Wednesday night's City Council meeting, urging the city not to condemn part of the church's property.

The city wants the right-of-way in front of Roswell Street Baptist Church so it can widen a stretch of the road and make other streetscape improvements.

Church leaders, including Administrative Pastor John Crooks, said the city has not offered them nearly enough money for the valuable property.

"It's a fact," Crooks said. "Roswell Street downtown parking is a premium and we believe we should be justly and fairly compensated."

Crooks said the city paid a coffee shop on Roswell Street $15,000 per parking space but is offering the church only $4,000.

"We're not people who want to fight necessarily," Crooks said. "But I'm going to tell you when it gets down to doing what's right for the right reasons, we can stand up for what is right."

At Wednesday night's council meeting, Marietta City Council voted unanimously to engage in mediation with the church and not to condemn the property for now.

An attorney for Roswell Street Baptist Church said he hopes to begin discussions with Marietta city leaders in the next few days to find an equitable solution.

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