ILLUSTRATION: The illustration above shows the proposed preliminary master plan for Brentwood United Methodist Church development, by Ragan-Smith Associates. / Illustration courtesy of the City of Brentwood
By RACHAEL LONG
Brentwood United Methodist Church is looking to create a total of 101 more parking spaces on its lot (and 246 more on “future reserve”) and a building addition of 26,399-square feet.
The church submitted its revised master plan to the Brentwood Planning Commission, who will consider the plan at Monday night’s commission meeting.
The plan also includes the removal of an entrance on the north side to accommodate 11 parking spaces, removal of the previously requested driveway access from Williamsburg Road and elimination of the previously requested playground areas.
City of Brentwood staff recommends approval of the master plan. But not all of the planning commissioners were on the same page at the Thursday morning briefing.
Commissioner John Church voiced concerns that the interests of neighboring residents were not being protected. To him, it seemed like approving the proposed parking — which backs up near a residential area — violates the zoning ordinance by creating adverse conditions which weren’t there before.
“As it exists right now, adverse conditions for the residential area are mitigated,” Church argued at the briefing, citing the city’s zoning ordinance. “By laying the parking lot down, you’re not mitigating anything, you’re creating.”
Church was also concerned about light and noise pollution, as well as possible storm water draining issues.
Dobson disagreed with Church, citing the buffer zones that would be in place between the parking lots and the residential area.
“If they are meeting the requirements of the code, they are mitigating in the way that the code expects it to be mitigated,” Dobson said, noting the master plan’s buffers along both the residential area and the arterial street, as well as its waterway natural areas.
The commissioners discussed the merits of Church’s concern, considering the church’s ownership and right to create parking on their property.
But Church remained unswayed, fundamentally disagreeing with the commission’s responsibility in this case.
“It’s just a shame that the protections of our residential community are being overlooked in this,” Church said.
Dobson agreed to take Church’s comments into consideration before the Monday Planning Commission meeting.
The Planning Commission meets Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at Brentwood City Hall.