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Sun City decides against renewing church rental contract

The Sun City Community Association of Huntley Board of Directors Wednesday chose not to renew a rental agreement with Community Christian Church. (Lawerence Synett/Tribune)

The Sun City Community Association of Huntley Board of Directors Wednesday chose not to renew a rental agreement with Community Christian Church. (Lawerence Synett/Tribune)

A rental agreement between a nondenominational church and Sun City Huntley was not renewed Wednesday during a meeting that ended with an expletive-filled verbal altercation between a resident and board member.

Community Christian Church had been using Meadow View Lodge for a few hours each Sunday over the last three months through an approved room reservation agreement.

But on Wednesday the board decided against renewing the lease because the church was using a trademark Sun City Huntley logo on its website and brochure, said Linda Davis, 11-year resident and vice chairperson of the facility use sub-committee.

“(The board of directors) needed a reason and found it,” she said. “There was enough support from the community to let them know their original decision wasn’t the right one. This was not a church issue, it was whether businesses should be able to rent our facilities on a permanent basis.”

Perry Martin, a Sun City resident and campus pastor for the church, said he was disappointed in the outcome.

“I don’t think anyone thought it would turn in to this,” he said.

The board also tabled a recommendation for an amendment to the room reservation guidelines.

The additional language would have helped prevent a similar issue from happening again at the community of more than 5,000 homes, said Jerry Kirschner, former board member.

Board members, as well as executive director Bill Pennock, refused comment.

Martin first approached the board about a long-term rental agreement in January.

The Sun City Community Association of Huntley approved the three-month agreement in February after determining renting to religious organizations was not against policy. Data also showed the Oak/Elm Room had little activity during that timeframe.

The contract included a $500 deposit, and $135 for each Sunday to hold services. The church only served Sun City residents.

But some residents were upset at the rental because it would take away the space for use by residents. A petition with close to 1,200 signatures was sent to board members and church officials, resident Patricia Kirschner said. The opposition was not due to the religious implications, but rather because it would take services away from residents who pay to live there, she said.

Dave Rosenfeldt, president of the Sun City Charter Club President’s Council, agreed.

“It’s the idea that the rooms are for our use,” he said. “It’s not a church issue.”

At the end of the meeting, Jim Darow and board member Harry Leopold exchanged derogatory names prompted by the board member, according to Darow.

The short-lived altercation ended as Darow stormed out of Drendel Ballroom after being restrained by his wife. Leopold, who is also a Huntley trustee, returned for the executive session portion of the meeting.

Leopold declined to comment.

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