Homeowners may appeal rectory for 6 priests

by: Tom Jones Updated:

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ATLANTA —

Homeowners in a Buckhead community say they may appeal a zoning board's decision surrounding a rectory for six priests being built in their neighborhood. 

"They're doubling the size. I think it was 2,500 square feet. I think they're adding an additional 3,000 square feet," said Hakim Hilliard, an attorney for the homeowners. 

The Cathedral of Christ the King is building it in a single-family homes neighborhood on West Wesley, an extension to the home where Archbishop Wilton Gregory used to live.

"So it's going to be seven bedrooms, a chapel, a library, a bar," Hillard said. 

Neighbors think the extension is an extension of the church and could disrupt their community. Some people who live near the rectory and attend Christ the King don't like the church spending so much money on a home for priests. 

"I don't know what church this is. I don't know what church this is. This is not the Catholic Church that I was raised in," Charlotte Walbert said.

The neighbors filed an appeal, challenging the issuance of the building permits. They wanted the church to go through a higher level of review.

"We were asking that they be required to go through the special use permit process," Hilliard said.

Atlanta's Board of Zoning Adjustments denied that appeal. The church's attorney Kathy Zickert said it was the right decision. Zickert said the rectory isn't an extension of the church.

"There won't be business conducted. There won't be Mass conducted. It's a single-family home, why does it need a $25,000 bar? Do you have a $25,000 bar in your house?"Walbert asked .

The church's attorney says she doesn't know anything about a $25,000 bar.

Neighbors are considering whether to appeal the zoning board's decision to the Superior Court of Fulton County.