Christian church plans expansion


Willamette Christian Church is awaiting a decision by Clackamas County to allow them to expand onto 30 acres near West Linn.

A preliminary hearing was held Sept. 28 before the county's planning commission to evaluate a conditional land use permit for the church.

'We are not looking to create a 'mega church' here in West Linn,' said Mark Foley, project manager and a church member. 'Willamette Christian Church will integrate its long-term growth into the local neighborhood fabric.'

If expanded, the church would be near Salamo Road, opposite the Cascade Summit Town Center. The land is owned by a group of private investors, who have not released the price of the property.

Founded in 1957, the church congregation has been meeting at Rosemont Middle School in West Linn since 1991 while using its original church at 10th Avenue and Willamette Falls Drive to house staff and administrative offices, and also host church and community events.

Membership is at 800, and the church has long been looking at the Salamo Road site as the way to grow, said spokesperson Christa Wendland.

The larger campus would provide additional space for service and philanthropic events, civic and community groups, and other functions, church officials said.

If approved, groundbreaking for the expansion will begin in spring 2007.