More than three years after purchasing the property across from Town Hall at 241 Danbury Rd., the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) has now come forward with a proposal to build a meeting house on the Wilton site.
Representatives of the church (more commonly known as the Mormon Church) will be at a special meeting of the Architectural Review Board (ARB) on Thursday, June 9 for the first presentation of its application to build a new 250-seat meeting house at the Danbury Rd. location.
Last October, the Church officially organized a Wilton congregation (also known as a ward), which includes members from Weston, Ridgefield and Redding as well.
Speaking to GOOD Morning Wilton in October, Todd Herget, the Church’s regional president, described the meeting house as a central point of worship and gathering space for youth groups, Bible study, and social events.
“All of us [having] gone through COVID and having lived through isolation, I think we all can understand a little bit more deeply just how important it is to gather and how the human spirit really thrives on being with others and being able to strengthen one another,” he said. “[The meeting house] will be a great blessing for the congregation in Wilton, but it will also be, in our opinion, a great addition to this wonderful community of Wilton.”
The highly visible site, located across from Wilton’s Town Hall, was purchased by the Church in 2019 after several years of neglect. The Church has since cleared the dilapidated, long-vacant structure that once made the lot a well-known eyesore.
Initial plans submitted to the Wilton Planning & Zoning Department describe a 13,743 sq ft two-story structure. The proposed façade would be a mix of stone and brick veneers at the ground level with the top third of the structure clad in white aluminum siding. The majority of the structure is set back from Danbury Rd., with the main entrance on the south side of the building. The steeple, which would front on Danbury Rd. and be visible from Town Hall, would be white metal with stone veneer cladding. The application describes the meeting house being designed to, “establish a ‘presence’ along Danbury Road yet will not impose upon it.”
Responding to the priorities outlined in Wilton’s 2019 Plan of Conservation and Development, the LDS notes that an existing stormwater drainage system on the site will be utilized and improved as part of the new use, and energy-conserving building elements will be used. The application also cites Wilton’s “eclectic mix of historical and modern architectural styles,” noting similar materials and colors used in nearby structures like Town Hall and the Wilton Wellness Center to the north.
The Architectural Review Board and Village District Design Advisory Committee are scheduled to meet on June 9 at 5 p.m. The meeting agenda, including zoom link, is now online and all materials related to the LDS Meeting House application can be viewed on the town website.