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Government agencies back church's plan

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Several government agencies gave their blessing yesterday to Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church's planned 3,000-seat church in Granite, as a hearing resumed on the project.

The hearing, which could last several days, was delayed last week when the church introduced new access road designs that had not been reviewed by community leaders or the State Highway Administration.

Yesterday, state highway engineer Larry Gredlein testified that "we've approved the traffic impact study." He also said the state had approved the design of the entrance on Old Court Road.

Baltimore County agencies also weighed in, approving the church's use of well water, the project's impact on the environment and general designs for the $10 million building, which would cover 2 acres and be set back 1,000 feet from the road.

The 14,000-member congregation, which worships in a city building it has outgrown, wants to build on a 255-acre lot.

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