Reynoldsburg City Council did not vote as expected Monday on an ordinance granting the Empowerment Worship Center a special exception use permit to occupy a former pool hall on Brice Road.

Reynoldsburg City Council did not vote as expected Monday on an ordinance granting the Empowerment Worship Center a special exception use permit to occupy a former pool hall on Brice Road.

The church's pastor, Charles Robinson, chose to withdraw the request after it became clear that council would likely reject the legislation.

Council President William Hills gave Robinson the choice to either let the vote happen or withdraw his request and resubmit another plan to the city's board of zoning and building appeals (BZBA).

Hills said if council voted to reject the ordinance, Robinson would have to wait 12 months to resubmit another application, but if he withdrew, he could approach the BZBA sooner with a more detailed plan and would not have to pay another $250 fee to submit a new application.

"I'm hearing from council people they think these are great ideas but the details aren't quite together yet," Hills said.

During a committee meeting on Sept. 21, Councilwoman Lesley Kelly asked to amend the ordinance to include reviews by the city in three months and six months to be sure the church was following what it said it planned to do. She also wanted the city to be able to revoke the permit if the reviews were not favorable.

Robinson had said he would supply detailed documentation on the church's plans to the city by Sept. 25, but Kelly said Monday night she was not satisfied because there was a lack of detail.

"I think this has tremendous potential for the people in that neighborhood, and my hope was to come back in three to six months and celebrate your successes," Kelly said. "I was hoping to see more of a designed plan that would give more definition as to how and what the plan is in order to meet those successes."

Councilman Fred Deskins said he is concerned that the church opened without permission in the first place and said Robinson needs to come back with a different plan.

Councilman Mel Clemens said he has no problem with a church locating at in the Century City Shopping Center, but said after so much discussion, he thought it would be better to start over.

"After all this time, you're not really taking the advice you received from council and the administration in doing it properly," Clemens told Robinson. "Withdraw this, go back and discuss this with your people, and start it over again and do it properly."

The Empowerment Worship Center has been waiting for its permit to be approved since June in order to expand to the pool hall space from a former dance studio next door.

Robinson's next step will be to approach the BZBA to see if it will review a new detailed plan at its next meeting on Oct. 15.

If the BZBA recommends the new plan be approved, council clerk Nancy Frazier said the next step would be to submit it, with the BZBA recommendation, to city council members for review before their next regular meeting.