Wesley Street Church Project Gets Positive Planning Board Recommendation for Parking

Plans for the Ministerio Internacional Cristo Vive Church at 10 Wesley Street got another boost at Tuesday night’s Planning Board meeting.

The board recommended that the Zoning Board approve a special permit for some minor parking relief at the church at its next meeting in April.

The project is also scheduled to come back before the Planning Board for final site plan approval in April.

The parking relief is at an adjacent property the church purchased at 19 Clyde St. The church needs some relief at that site for setbacks for several of the 27 outside tandem parking spaces proposed for the property.

In addition, the church will have 21 overflow tandem parking spaces at an inside garage on the Wesley Street property. According to Thomas Curran, the attorney representing the church, there will be valets on site during Saturday and Sunday church services to assist with parking both inside and outside the church.

“Three years ago, the church was approved for a major site plan,” said Curran. “There was an issue with parking, so between then and now, the church purchased 19 Clyde St. abutting the property and restructured the parking.”

Between the two properties, Curran said there are now enough spaces to satisfy parking requirements. However, he said the parking relief is needed because of the size of some of the spaces as well as the width of some of the traffic flow pathways.

The existing residential building at 19 Clyde St. will remain on the property and be used by visiting pastors and other church uses, Curran added.

Chelsea Permitting and Land Use Planning Director John DePriest said the city’s planning department is recommending that the main entrance for the church and the majority of the parking be the Wesley Street entrance, with the Revere Beach Parkway curb cut being closed off.

While no residents spoke during the Planning Board meeting, there were a number of supporters in the audience. Many of them spoke earlier in the month at the ZBA hearing, voicing their support for Pastor Jose Sanchez and his plans for the church.

Sanchez has said his vision for the church is based on the time he has spent in the United States, as well as the help he received from people during a two-year battle with cancer and his desire to help others. He said there will be a large focus on helping young people and immigrants in the community.

Planning Board Chair Tuck Willis thanked those who attended the board’s meeting for coming out to show their support.

The project will be before the ZBA on April 9, and back before the Planning Board for site plan approval on April 23, Willis said.

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