Mayer property future slowed by zoning issues

About two years ago, Eastern obtained ownership of the Mayer property, the two-story house that sits along Eagle Road next to Kea Hall, as a means of future expansion.


However, due to township zoning, the future use of the property, which connects Eastern to Fenimore Park, is still primarily up in the air.


“The township has yet to zone it for institutional use, which we have requested,” Chancellor Chris Hall said of the property. “Sometimes it just takes an unbearable long time for the township to rezone something.”


The property is currently zoned for residential use only. Hall said Eastern is being very careful with how the property is used until the zoning changes so as not to violate the law.


“I just thought, ‘Let’s explore this other possibility because it’s just sitting there empty,'” Hall said. “What we’ve learned is that we can … provide residence for the scholars who will be heading up the new Center for Early African Christianity.”


The Center is based on a 28-volume book series Hall recently completed concerning the origins of Christianity. One of the scholars, Michael Glerup, is currently living in the house on the Mayer property with his wife Kate.


“Legally speaking, it’s their residence,” Hall said. “They have a private box, but the university can also use it, with their permission, to hold receptions.”


Hall said the future use of the property is still up in the air and that the opportunities available when the property becomes legal for institutional use are not being explored at this time.


“We’re kind of doing a fine dance here,” Hall said. “We don’t want to violate laws but we want to use (the space) as much as we can.”

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