Plans for a church on The Trace Drive and for a home-based child care business on Sumpter Avenue have been derailed after the Warren County Board of Adjustments voted down both applications at a meeting held via Zoom teleconference.

The fledgling One Song Church presented its plan to renovate the former clubhouse for The Trace at Bays Fork golf course and turn it into a church. But after hearing from nearby residents opposed to the plan, the board voted 7-0 on Thursday to deny the application for a conditional-use permit.

Melody Gravil, the treasurer for One Song Church, said the church was established last December and had been meeting at a Warren County Parks and Recreation building before the coronavirus pandemic ended that arrangement.

Kevin Brooks, the attorney representing One Song Church, said property owner Perry Thessen offered to give the clubhouse and its 4.26-acre lot to the 14-member church.

But several residents of The Trace subdivision objected.

“The homeowners’ association is opposed to this,” said Anita Merriss, who lives on The Trace Circle. “It would be detrimental to the community and devalue our property. It’s just not compatible.”

Judy Williams, who lives on Claypool Boyce Road, said: “This property is in our back yard. We wouldn’t have moved here if we knew a church would be in our back yard.”

Brooks argued for the church’s plan, saying: “I’m a little baffled by the opposition to a house of worship. These are nice people who want desperately to be good neighbors.”

The vote against the permit was unanimous, as was a vote to deny an application that would have allowed a child care business to operate on a 0.34-acre lot at 334 Sumpter Ave. owned by Savannah and Tim Effinger.

Residents of the neighborhood that is near Western Kentucky University’s campus pointed to traffic and safety issues in speaking against the plan.

“My primary concerns are parking and safety issues,” said Shanna Paul, who lives on Sumpter Avenue. “This is a remarkably busy street.”

Mike Davenport, chairman of the board, said: “I don’t see enough room there to load and unload cars.”

The Effingers’ plan to operate a child care business serving a maximum of six children was defeated 7-0.

The board approved a number of other variances and conditional-use permits at the meeting, including:

  • a variance request from Lucas and Emily Haskins of 285 Stone Ridge St. to allow a proposed accessory structure to be located 7 feet from the front property line.
  • a permit application from Lalit and Sharon Jain to operate an owner-occupied bed-and-breakfast business at 1945 Boyce-Fairview Road.
  • a permit application from Kevin and Crista Briggs to operate a short-term rental business at 148 Dude Howard Road.
  • a permit application from Kevin Goff of River LLC to operate a short-term rental business at 803 Beech Bend Road.
  • a permit application from Benjamin Meyer to operate a short-term rental business at 7244 Cemetery Road.
  • a permit application from Victory Lane Sober Living owners Bradley and Billie Jean Sowell to operate a group living facility with a maximum occupancy of eight persons at 620 Old Morgantown Road.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit

​– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit

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