Church of Scientology needs bigger building

Officials want city to rezone former Time Warner site

The Columbus Dispatch/March 29, 2008

The Church of Scientology plans to move into a former Time Warner building on Dublin Road on the Northwest Side, near Grandview Heights.

The church has to move out of its Downtown headquarters, 30 N. High St., because there isn't enough room, said the Rev. John Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology of New York.

The new church will be used for Sunday services, classes and counseling, Carmichael said. Plans call for an opening by mid-2009.

The church asked the city to change the zoning on the building so it could be used as a religious facility, said Cynthia Rickman, Development Department spokeswoman.

City Council is expected to vote in mid-April on the change, which was approved by the development committee.

The building covers 30,698 square feet and has 175 parking spaces, Rickman said.

Besides Columbus, there are Scientology churches in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Earlier this month, a group of about 80 anti-Scientology protesters waved signs, chanted and handed out fliers outside the Downtown church. Group members covered their faces and refused to identify themselves while decrying what they called cultlike treatment of Scientology church members.

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