Most of the residents who spoke at the March 23 City Council meeting backed All Saints Catholic Church’s plans to rebuild its sanctuary.
But others questioned the church’s plans to build a three-story parking deck in the future and a few argued the church should move if it wants to expand.
Charlotte Stone Black called the church’s plans “irresponsible.” “If they want a larger church, then go to a site that can accommodate a bigger church,” she said.
The church’s expansion plan requires a special land use permit, which Andrew Halloran, who represents Cornerstone Site Consultants, requested on behalf of the church. During the public hearing March 23, several residents spoke against the SLUP.
The council deferred a decision on the SLUP until after a hydrology study is completed.
Several residents said they support the church’s intention to bring water drainage systems up to date and improve handicapped access to the sanctuary. But others said they object to seeing a parking deck rise above their homes.
“We didn’t invest money in our homes to live next to a parking deck,” said Lyle Spencer, who said his driveway appears on a current design sketch for construction plans at the church site.
All Saints has agreed to install four new detention ponds to control water runoff to improve its 35-year-old campus. Also, Halloran promised a 10-foot buffer of trees would be planted during the first phase of construction to help hide the area where the church hopes to build a parking deck in five or more years.
That didn’t appease Spencer. “No matter how far we push the parking deck back, I am going to see a parking deck. I don’t care how many trees you plant, I am going to see a parking deck. I will see 90 to 75 percent of whatever is constructed there.”
Spencer asked the council to “do the right thing and support the construction of the church, but never, ever a parking deck in an R-100 residential zone.”
Evan Black said he doesn’t think anyone in Kingsley subdivision wants a parking deck. He said he wanted the tree buffer to be made a requirement of the SLUP, if it is approved.