- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The Rapid City Council is staying out of a dispute involving a church that’s planning a motorcycle show as part of its ministry and nearby residents who don’t want the event in their neighborhood.

The Dove Christian Center says the Aug. 20 show, which will involve motorcycle jumping, will be safe and won’t damage or disrupt private property.

“We love our neighborhood and we appreciate our neighborhood,” Pastor Timothy Stuen said. “Our goal is to reach out to people to love on them and give them the same chance to meet the Lord as we all did. And this is just our way of helping that happen.”

Some neighbors worry that the show will be disruptive. A rodeo that the church held in 2013 resulted in a sheep getting loose and roaming the area for about a month before being caught.

“It’s inappropriate where it’s zoned, not necessarily an inappropriate idea,” neighbor Dennis Halterman said. “This may be a great event for bringing people to Jesus, but it’s in the wrong location.”

Neighbors in July asked the city to clarify whether the church can legally hold such activities. Council members on Monday decided their hands were tied because of a vague conditional use permit granted to the church nearly 30 years ago.

“We don’t have the authority to approve or disapprove of this event,” Alderman Brad Estes said.

Mayor Steve Allender said the city could go to court, but added, “who wants to sue a church?”

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