By RACHAEL LONG
Brentwood residents will have the opportunity to come before the Brentwood City Commission on Monday, Jan. 14 to speak during a public hearing either for or against Ordinance 2018-18.
The ordinance proposes an amendment to the city’s municipal code which would change parking requirements for service institutions, like churches, schools and government buildings.
The need for a code revision like this one arose after Brentwood United Methodist Church (BUMC) announced its plans to build an addition to the church. City commissioner Ken Travis said the church was “maxed out” on its current parking availability, and according to current code, adding more seating inside required more parking outside, and onsite.
As the municipal code stands today, the church is required to have a certain percentage of its parking spaces onsite. The church’s proposed addition also meant the addition of a parking lot in the rear of the church, to which some neighbors grew concerned.
Travis also mentioned that the church’s master plan was approved more than a decade ago, which he said included designations for future parking. Part of the confusion, Travis thinks, came because some residents didn’t know the space was already meant for parking.
“We had a combination of people who were worried about parking lots causing more flooding to people who didn’t want the parking lot to come right up to their house,” Travis said.
The ordinance would change the municipal code so that less of the church’s parking would be required onsite, and thus could possibly reduce the size of an additional onsite parking lot.
Travis says he doesn’t expect much opposition to the ordinance, as it serves as a kind of compromise between the church and concerned neighbors.
No voting will take place at the public hearing, but city commissioners will vote on the ordinance at its second reading. If it passes second reading, Travis said it’s then up to BUMC to amend the previously submitted parking plans.
Travis said representatives from the church expressed at a recent meeting their willingness to meet with homeowners and concerned citizens as they develop new designs for the parking lot.
“We don’t expect a ton of opposition,” Travis said. “But if anybody wants to come out, [they should] feel free to come and speak at this meeting.”
The city commission will meet Monday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at Brentwood City Hall.