Plans approved for new LDS meeting house in Wellsville

WELLSVILLE—Potential building orientation as well as handicap parking stalls for a new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meeting house were debated at the Wellsville Planning Commission meeting Wednesday.The Richards-Bott Architectural Firm presented blueprints and building plans that were drafted to conform to recommendations made by Wellsville City Engineer Chris Breinholdt. The restrictions Breinholdt gave on the slope of the parking lot required the architects at Richards-Bott to condense the size of the parking lot. In doing so, they lost five of the original 200 parking stalls they had planned.”It’s a real shame because the church really wanted to see at least 200 stalls in that lot,” Bott said.The architects also had to move handicap stalls to the west and south side of the proposed building in order to allow for access to a ramp, which moved the stalls farther away from the door than some on the commission would have liked.Commissioner John Spence asked why the handicap stalls could not be placed directly in front of the entrances.”My dad is in a position now where he needs to use the handicapped parking stalls and he can hardly move much anymore. It just seems inconvenient for them to have to walk all the way around the building like that,” Spence said. “I just don’t see why you can’t put those stalls right at the very front.”Bott said that in addition to the access ramp, the signs that are necessary to indicate that a stall is designated for handicapped persons can’t be placed right in front of the entrance to the building.Spence then asked why the building had been oriented in a way that would cause problems with the slope in the first place. He said he thought that facing the building to the north would allow for more parking and create a better location for handicapped stalls.”The church doesn’t like for entrances to ever face north if it can be avoided,” Bott said. “The lack of sunlight makes snow and ice removal more difficult when buildings face north.”Members of the commission then suggested that heated steps be put in, similar to those at the LDS temple in Logan.”The amount of money the church will put into a temple and the amount they will put into a meeting house are very different,” Bott said.The commission conceded to Bott’s reasoning and unanimously voted to approve the design plan.Construction on the new building should begin sometime during the next two months and is expected to be completed by the summer months of 2011.

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