Brookings City Council plans to review abatement appeal for St. Timothy’s

Update, October 24 9:44 a.m.

The Brookings City Council has granted a 21 day period to St. Timothy’s Church in last night’s City Council meeting.  Father Lindley says this is so the church can gather new evidence and allow te city an opportunity to review the evidence.

The next City Council meeting on the issue could be as early as mid-December.

Original story: 

BROOKINGS, Ore. – St Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Brookings says it has been serving food and providing help for community members for over a decade.

Earlier this year, the city issued an abatement against the church to stop part of its community services after neighbors complained about the types of people being helped by the church.

In a letter given to church officials, the city said if the church did not stop its meal services for the homeless, the church would be fined over $700 a day.

“We were feeding people six days a week during the pandemic,” said Father Bernie Lindley, vicar at St. Timothy’s. “Now we do every other Saturday and Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. So we do three and a half days a week.”

The church has since moved to sue the City of Brookings, even demanding a trial in federal court.  It has also filed an appeal with the city to overturn the abatement.

The appeal was denied by the Planning Commission last month, but Father Lindley hopes the City Council will still allow it to be overturned.

“They said that they didn’t like us having our day shelter and our advocacy program,” Father Lindley said. “The city’s allegation is that we’re providing social services that go beyond what a church would typically do and that our zoning does not allow for social services in a residential area.”

Father Lindley says if the appeal is denied, it could prove harmful for those who rely on their services. He hopes the church and the city can instead work together to come up with solutions to better help Brookings residents.

“Best case scenario is that they reconsider… coming alongside us in our efforts.”

We reached out to Brookings Mayor and City Council members ahead of Monday’s meeting.  They declined to comment.

NBC5 will keep you updated on air and online as this story develops.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
Skip to content