New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Feature News

No Parking? No Church!

A zoning ordinance could prevent The Good Samaritan Church from acquiring the Hatch Building on Washington St.

There is a parking ordinance that was approved in 2006 that shows there must be one parking place on the property for every 4 seats in an auditorium, church, convention hall, stadium, theater, studio or other place of public assembly in the central district of downtown. This ordinance has prohibited other churches from gaining residences downtown.

There is no parking at the Hatch Building. However, there is a paid parking garage across the street.

It may be possible that the church could rent spaces from the City in order to have members park at the garage if approved by the zoning committee.

The Hatch Building has become very controversial as previously the New Britain Historical Society, Diverse Realty and The Good Samaritan Church all voiced interest in acquiring the building.

Last week Amy Kirby, president of the historical society, said the City announced new rules this week for purchasing the Hatch Building that purposely eliminated the society from acquiring the building.

During a recent council meeting, some Alderman stated Diverse Realty had pulled out, but the New Britain City Journal could not confirm that information.

The City is asking that any prospective developer must demonstrate they can secure financing of $100,000. The minimum purchase price is $40,000.

The building has water damage and other problems. It needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to make it usable.

Kirby was attempting to get grants. The Bristol Historical Society had received nearly $1 million in restoration grants for its society building which was donated to them by the City for $1.