By K.B. Sherman, Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – More information is still required before a planned expansion for St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church, 1 Industrial Drive, will be approved by town officials. Representatives for the church met with the Planning Board during the board's Aug. 2 meeting.
The church is seeking to expand its building to build a sanctuary and to add 20 parking spaces to its lot. The hearing has been continued several times for want of required information.
Attorney Richard Ricker, along with project engineer Leslie Wilson, of HS&T in Worcester, made the presentation. Two remaining issues include providing lot drainage and grading information to the satisfaction of the board. In yetanother delay, Ricker told the board that he is working to provide final information to not just the Planning Board, but to the Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Commission as well. He noted that while the parking lot is to be expanded, he does not anticipate the size of the congregation to grow beyond its current size of 70 members. The expansion plan provides not only for the expanded number of parking spaces, but for a new system of five cisterns into which drainage would flow before being disposed of in both the existing sewer system and the adjacent wetlands as is now the case. Other existing utilities will remain the same. Town Planner Kristen Las added that the plan must include provisions for handicapped access to the expanded building.
The site plan approval was then continued to the next regularly scheduled Planning Board meeting Sept. 10.