True Colors Ministry International will take a portion of a 2900-square foot office space in the Pavilion on Brick Boulevard and use it for church on Sunday and individual counseling during the week.
Requesting a use variance for the religious service to accommodate up to 75 people, Applicant Kelly McCann said True Colors was primarily providing counseling focused on healing from trauma, but as part of that mission, would gather on Sunday to pray and hold service.
The applicant’s engineer, Jeffrey Carr, testified before the Brick Zoning Board Aug. 21 that parking and traffic would not be impacted, and that the building, which has other commercial tenants, would not be altered physically.
A conference room area would have 50 chairs arranged for the service, which would be held inside leased office space that also includes three counseling areas, storage space and a vestibule entrance in one of the commercial buildings behind the Roy Rogers near the intersection with Molly Lane at 74 Brick Boulevard.
“The only proposal we are submitting is setting up the chairs. That’s to enhance the faith-based counseling at this location,” said John Jackson, the applicant’s attorney.
The three-year lease lists McCann as the sole owner, though she said her husband is also a pastor and they will co-minister at the site.
“It will be open to all denominations,” McCann said, in response to the board’s questions. Other questions from the board inquired as to whether True Colors had investigated using or commissioning space in nearby churches first before asking for a use variance.
McCann and her professionals each testified that all but the Sunday two-hour block for church services are a small part of the total hours True Colors would operate, in that they would use three counseling areas during the week to meet with clients and possibly their spouses for marriage counseling. Clients of True Colors’ counseling could pay fees, operate on a sliding scale, or pro bono.
On Monday evenings, True Colors holds training for their volunteers, which could be about two dozen attendees, they said.
Should the Sunday services grow past 50 people, a second service could be added, creating a Sunday schedule from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
After a heartfelt statement by McCann, who is an ordained minister who lives in Toms River and was previously a longtime Brick resident, two objectors from the audience questioned the applicant’s team about traffic and how a church and counseling service could impact the commercial and nearby residential areas.
Carr said that at its busiest, the site on Sunday would have minimal traffic and parking impact to the major thorofare of Brick Boulevard. Most of the parking spots are empty on Sunday as most of the other businesses in the professional building do not have Sunday hours.
Ultimately, the use variance passed 5-2, with Board Member Carl Anderson and Vice Chairman Frank Mizer voting no.