Full Gospel church parking lot expansion approved

Full Gospel Chuch, 110 Union St. (FACEBOOK.COM/FGCMA)

WESTFIELD – The Conservation Commission approved an enforcement plan and parking lot expansion plan for the Full Gospel Church at 102 and 110 Union St. at its Sept. 22 meeting.

The enforcement plan was required because the church had been mowing and depositing grass clippings in the bordering vegetative wetlands (BVW) area next to the existing lot and signs had been moved.

A plan to install four boulders and new signs at the BVW 50 foot line and to replant native species was approved after several meetings and site visits by the commission. The plan must be completed by Oct. 20, 2020.

The parking lot expansion will add 55 spaces to the current lot, and has a stormwater management system that was approved by the city engineering department. Approval of the expansion had been stalled due to the enforcement order, and must also be signed off by the Westfield Planning Board.

“We’ve done the site visit, the engineer signed off on the stormwater, and the Planning Board is currently reviewing the project,” said commission chair David Doe at the meeting. He asked if there was any concern that the Planning Board was not finished with the project.

Conservation Coordinator Meredith Borenstein said she didn’t think so, because she didn’t think there would be more changes to the stormwater plan.

Ryan Nelson of R. Levesque Associates said that all of the Department of Environmental Protection comments on the project had also been answered.

“I had concerns about the hydraulic connection between groundwater and stormwater, but I’m comfortable with the information that Ryan provided,” said member James Murphy.

The public hearing was closed and the project approved with a list of conditions, including among others signs and boulders, a pre-construction meeting with Borenstein, stormwater structures, permanent stabilization and a certificate of compliance.

Another condition is that 40 of the 46 proposed native plantings survive at least one year, and any that die be replaced. A $5,000 bond will also be paid by the church until satisfactory completion of the work.

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