By K.B. Sherman, Community Reporter
During the hearing, the proponents discussed a proposed change in handling traffic at the plaza. Karen Johnson, a representative of Charter Realty and Development Corp., the owners of White City and White City East, both located off of Route 9 on the Worcester line, displayed engineering drawing modifications for the center. Johnson and her team are proposing modifications of the property that would involve changes to a drive-through lane at a bank and a change in the number and configuration of lot parking spaces. She explained that the drive-through lane changes were necessitated by changes in roads adjacent to the shopping center and because of changes on the property regarding the movement of lot waste management facilities.
The Friendly's Restaurant at the shopping center has closed but a new tenant has already been located. Board members asked questions regarding traffic flow, wastewater control, and the moving of lot waste material. The board then opened the meeting to public input, but none was forthcoming. A night work permit was approved for a period of five days during which construction can occur between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The next meeting on this project will be held July 12.
The board also held a hearing on proposed changes to St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church, located at 1 Industrial Drive. The discussion involved the church's plan to expand its building to include a sanctuary and the addition of parking spaces on the property. Some members of the board noted that they had concerns about the planned expansion. Board Chair Melvin Gordon added that that he saw “only problems” with the proposal and that he was not getting the information from the church that the board needed to make its decision. Church representatives stated that the proposal involved only an expansion to accommodate a new sanctuary and extra parking places on the property; the Zoning Board of Appeals had already granted a variance for the extra parking spaces, they added.
Board members asked the proponents questions regarding the management of drainage issues and for more details on the proposed changes. A question on whether a larger church building would be followed by the establishment of a school at the church which would, in turn, require further parking lot growth, was met with an assurance that this would not be the case. A continuance was granted to July 12.