Webster Township Planning Commission unanimously approved the Dexter United Methodist Church (DUMC) building plans with some conditions at their Wednesday, Nov. 15, meeting.
Parking was the big issue that had dominated Township planning meetings in August, September and October. These meetings had been a wrestling match on how to understand the parking coded and then how to comply with it. Since last month’s meeting, Commissioner Paul Zalucha and Commission Chairperson Andrea Zamansky spent much time with church leaders closing the interpretive gap and coming to terms.
DUMC Director of Church Administration, Carl Espy, had this to say about the meetings, “After resolving the parking issue and a few more minor matters, we were very happy to have received unanimous approval last night from the Commission.”
In sharp contrast to prior meetings, discussion between the two sides was organized, on point, and clear. Commissioner Erica Perry noted the difference in her closing remarks to the Commission, “I just want to thank Paul and Andrea for all the time they have put in to make this a smooth process.”
Conditions agreed upon by DUMC and the Commission include the following:
- 294 post-construction parking spaces: 271 paved and 23 gravel.
- DUMC has adopted a parking policy that when a vehicle is found to be parked illegally or blocking a drive, ushers will try to determine the driver so the car can be moved. If the driver cannot be found, the vehicle will be towed.
- DUMC is required to report to the Township attendance numbers for the entire campus during peak times. In the event of a 90 person increase in average counts, the church will add 30 parking spaces.
- The church’s shuttle service will cease in order to comply with the ordinance requirement of no off-site parking.
- Construction hours will be 7 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 3 PM Saturday and no construction on Sunday.
Located on Huron River Drive (a half-mile from Mast Rd.), the church’s construction plans center around building a 12,000 sq ft multi-use community room for functions such as wedding receptions and funeral meals. A new kitchen and refurbishing of transitional areas between buildings are also included in the project.
DUMC’s site plans now head to the Webster Board of Trustees Tuesday night for consideration. When approved, building permits will be pulled and construction can begin.
Senior Pastor Dr. Matt Hook summed up what everyone seemed to be feeling, “Boy, does it feel good to work through a challenge so that everyone can be on the same page as we move forward in on a project that we hope will benefit our whole community!”