Dear PoP – Storefront Church Issues

Greater Mt. Carmel House of Prayer
Photo by PoPville flickr user dullshick

Ed. Note: The photo above is not the Church in question but an example of a “storefront” Church.

“Dear PoP,

I live in Columbia Heights and have been dealing with an ongoing issue with a “church” across the street from my place. There are days that this “church” seems to be open 24/7. I believe that the “church” is legit, in that it is not a front for any shady activity, but I don’t believe the space is zoned for this use (maybe I’m wrong about zoning laws). There are several problems that the “church” is causing….like:

1. very loud speakers (I can hear their prayers and/or music clearly from my living room, there are times when they are having services @ 11pm)
2. Trash from the parishioners
3. Illegal parking by the parishioners
4. Funerals that go until 4am and draw large crowds (100 plus) and since the space isn’t large enough, the crowd flows into the streets….this leads to public urination, drinking beer, trash, traffic congestion, etc.

I have called the police several times and they can’t or don’t want to do anything about the “church.” I’m not sure what I my next steps should be. The police aren’t helpful at all.”

Whenever I see questions like this, I always think a little communication would go a long way. I think you should contact your Council Member’s staff and see if they can help set up a meeting to discuss some of the issues you have. I would guess that open communication would lead to some sort of compromise.

But just out of curiosity, does anyone know how the storefront churches are zoned?

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