Church looks to cut down $1 million in debt by selling 30 acres, residents oppose potential development

Northwoods Church could potentially sell 30 acres of land that would be used for residential development.
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 8:35 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Northwoods Church could potentially sell 30 acres of land that would be used for residential development; however, neighbors in the area are concerned about increased traffic and overcrowding.

Lead Pastor Todd Sapp said the number of church members has been declining over the years, and the pandemic only made that problem worse. At one time, Sapp said the church had 1,200 members with $3.2 million in debt. That number has, since, been reduced to $1.1 million. “Now, there’s 140 people servicing that same debt.”

Sapp said the church is left with few options. “We feel a sense of urgency to get that debt off our shoulders,” said Sapp. “One of our goals is to be free from the debt, so we have more opportunities to serve, give and be a benefit to our community.”

At the same time, neighbors in the area said they are opposed to residential development. “To be able to get out onto Capital Circle right now on busy days is almost impossible,” said Mike Nissley. The church sits along Capital Circle NW, past Fred George Rd., which only has two lanes. Nissley has lived across from the church for 25 years and said he appreciates the church being in the community.

“I do understand a lot of churches are in financial difficulty right now and it is uncomfortable,” said Nissley. “But, we shouldn’t have to bear that burden in the sense of development that’s not really sustainable.”

The land would have to be rezoned from Residential Acre to R-2 before the church can consider selling. The R-2 classification would allow approximately four single-family homes per acre. The rezoning is being discussed Tuesday evening at the Leon County Commission Public Hearing meeting.