New church must lower cross: council
In Noosa it seems even the devout followers of God must bow to council's building height restrictions as a planned Noosaville Lutheran Church expansion reveals.
While many churches across Australia have spires with crosses soaring heavenward, at Good Shepherd this sacred sign can rise no more than the stock standard 8m in height at this newly approved house of God.
Noosa Council has never been afraid to play devil's advocate with even the high and mighty.
It even forced the golden arches of McDonald's in Noosaville to downsize about 30 years ago.
Councillor Brian Stockwell three years ago recalled the famous Maccas rejection from the 1990s as Noosa looked to follow suite to oppose large 7-Eleven and Total Tools signs near Eumundi Noosa Rd.
"The benchmark case was McDonald's, we were the first shire in Australia to limit the McDonald's signage to 1.5 sqm illuminated sign," Cr Stockwell said then.
Last week, council's planning department authorised minor approval changes to the church's new place of worship to adjoin the church hall at the college on Noosa Eumundi Rd.
"The plans submitted with the original application showed a cross mounted on the roof that exceeded the allowable height limit, which was not supported," Noosa Council planner Lisa Pienaar said.
"The original issue was the height of the cross which increased its prominence external to the site.
"While it is acknowledged the cross is a religious symbol, it is considered that a structure well above the allowable," she said.
Ms Pienaar said the height limit would be visible to Eumundi Noosa Rd and adjoining residences.
"The plans submitted with this application show a cross above the roof line of the church but no greater than 8m in height," she said.
The church also has cut back its Friday and Saturday hours of worship from 7am to 11pm to a 10pm close to meet with the required noise restrictions.
The 5.68ha Good Shepherd site contains the existing church within the school hall, close to the early learning centre, three sports fields, swimming pool and associated school buildings.
Noosa church pastor Mark Hansen said the builders would be moving on site next week for a project that has been about four years in the making.
"That's because we wanted to do the right thing," he said.
"We want to work together with the council so we've tried to do everything they've required of us.
"We hope to have it completed by August.
"We're really excited by this opportunity and we hope it will be a blessing to the community."
Mr Hansen said the church would be able to seat about 250 people and operate in close connection with the college with another 250 people able to be accommodated in the college hall.