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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jusst for Sooup Ranch Wants to Open Church

MILFORD, Del.- The Jusst for Sooup Ranch in Coolspring near Lewes is adding another chapter to an ongoing story.  Sussex County Planning and Zoning commissioners are scheduled to discuss a preliminary site plan filed by Jusst Sooup Ministries.
The Rev. Dale and Ken Dunning want to convert their soup kitchen into a 70-seat church. 
"We may have to add on to it. It could be a megachurch," said Ken Dunning.
The Dunnings said they want to fulfill their mission. That mission is to serve God. They say the idea of transforming the church into a soup kitchen came after a setback when the county's board of adjustment voted 5-0 last November. That vote denied a special-use exception to permit Jusst Sooup Ministries to serve food at its new kitchen.
The home, an apartment and the soup kitchen for the Dunning family was built by a crew from ABC television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
"My wife has been making soup in the kitchen and delivering to other soup kitchens in the area," Ken Dunning said. "Home occupation regulations and volunteers are not allowed to help her on our property. Only me, my son and few other family members are permitted to work as a part of the ministry."
The Dunning family is not permitted to serve the public in the soup kitchen, but planning and zoning rules may allow the family to use the space as a church. 
"Churches are permitted use in AR-1 zoning, which is the current zoning of the Jusst Sooup Ranch," said Planning and Zoning Director Lawrence Lank. 
Lank explained that the site plan for the church must conform to county code and the layout must have proper parking. State and county agency approvals would be required before a final site plan could be approved. 
The church site plan will be heard in a committee planning and zoning meeting this Thursday.

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