Redeemer Church of Montclair is looking to demolish a house adjacent to its site on North Willow Street to make way for a two-story addition to the house of worship.

Redeemer Montclair has filed an application with the Township Zoning Board of Adjustment seeking conditional-use variances for the expansion of the existing church and the site plan for the project. The board is scheduled to hear the matter at its August 16 meeting.

Officials of the one-story brick church at 19 North Willow St., between Glenridge and Claremont avenues, want to demolish an existing house next door at 23 North Willow St. That 2 ½-story residential building and garage now houses the church’s administrative offices.

The proposed addition will have a full basement, and contain administrative offices, class rooms and meeting rooms for the church, according to the application filed with the zoning board on behalf of Redeemer Montclair by attorney Alan Trembulak.

Redeemer Montclair, a Presbyterian church on North Willow Street, is looking to build a two-story addition.
Redeemer Montclair, a Presbyterian church on North Willow Street, is looking to build a two-story addition.

Redeemer Montclair, which is in a residential zone, is seeking a number of variances related to setbacks and parking in order to move forward with its addition.

As part of the proposed work, the church wants to construct a new parking area with 13 spaces for the expanded church-building site, and needs a variance because 30 spaces are required by local codes. The regulations mandate one parking space for every eight seats in the church, and it has 240 seats, according to Redeemer’s application.

The church is located in a part of the township, Walnut Street, that’s been designated as a potential historic district.

The Montclair Historic Preservation Commission has already reviewed Redeemer Montclair’s plans for the addition, which was designed by local architect Paul Sionas.

The commission forwarded its recommendations to the zoning board, suggestions that include that the church should try to sell and relocate the 23 North Willow St. building rather than demolish it, and that photos be taken of that structure’s exterior and interior and be put on file at the Montclair Public Library and with the Township Planning Board.

Redeemer Montclair began as a fellowship group in 1999, made up of members of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, according to its website. It held its first service in September 2001.