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Planning Board backs St. Bonaventure’s plan for new church

After half an hour of haggling over what size parking lot aisle is the safest, the Planning Board voted 4-1 in favor of recommending the Zoning Board of Appeals grant The Archdiocese of Boston special permits to build a new St. Bonaventure's Parish church at the current site. The Archdiocese is planning to construct a new 10,500-square-foot Catholic church on the State Road property it owns, transforming the current 6,000-square-foot church into a parish hall. The existing parish hall would then become an educational center. But Planning Board Chairman Marc Garrett suggested that the proposed 25-foot aisle widths in the parking lot are simply not large enough to accommodate the turning radius of many vehicles. He said he's concerned about the safety of parishioners walking in the lot while cars are backing up and driving out of it, and recommended a 29 or 27-foot aisle. The board discussed the issue in detail and the architect for the project disagreed with the idea of creating more pavement when the plan is to minimize the blacktop footprint.  Planning Board member Bill Wennerberg made a motion striking a compromise with 26-foot aisles and 9.5-foot parking spaces. The board voted 4-1 in favor of this motion. Garrett was the lone vote against.

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