Salisbury City Council adopts ordinance for new church rectory and parking spaces

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, June 11, 2024

SALISBURY — At its June 4 meeting, the Salisbury City Council adopted an ordinance amending an existing conditional district overlay for Sacred Heart Catholic Church to allow for the construction of a new rectory and increasing the parking lot by 36 spaces.

The church, located at 375 Lumen Christi Lane, will be adding a 5,083-square-foot rectory and 10,000 square feet to the parking lot. The master plan has already been approved by Salisbury’s technical review committee and planning board and it is said to be “consistent” with the Forward 2040 Comprehensive Plan. 

However, there have been discussions regarding additional runoff to the nearby Hidden Creek neighborhood by constructing impervious surfaces for the project.

Senior Planner Victoria Bailiff said that the planning board stated, “While the current flooding issues are of great concern it did not appear to the board that the amount of impervious surface to be added to the site would create enough run off to exacerbate the existing flooding issues in the Hidden Creek neighborhood.”

While Public Works Director Chris Tester said water does flow to Hidden Creek, “It’s a very minimal impact of additional impervious surface area to the drainage basin as a whole.”

Gwynn Mangler, a resident who lives in the Hidden Creek neighborhood, spoke during the meeting to voice her displeasure for the development. 

“The impact of the water erosion from the proposed rectory and parking spaces are of great concern to me,” Mangler said. 

Mangler explained there is already an “established problem” with water runoff from the existing parking lot. She said she will need to construct a 54-foot wall that is three-and-a-half feet tall at a cost of $19,000 on her property to mitigate the impact of the runoff.

“I shouldn’t have to do that,” Mangler said.

She also said the proposed sewer line could bring potential difficulties and that she has studied the land that has been impacted by flooding and clarified that, “If you don’t walk and physically look at what’s there, it’s not going to be on the map.”

Gray Stout, the architect in charge of the project, said they will be adding half an acre of impervious area, but not any more water to the existing creek. He said he is “sympathetic” to Mangler, but he also said he studied the existing drainage and found it’s not due to Sacred Heart. 

After all parties made their cases, council member David Post did not believe the topics raised would be that “dramatic of a concern.” City council voted unanimously to move ahead with amending the ordinance.

“I know they have to proceed with business. I know they have to be progressive. I know the church has all the money. I’ve prayed on it. I do not think I am satisfied. I want to go on record that there will be an additional problem to any flooding that comes from the upper area,” Mangler said.