Wilton Architectural board tells proposed Latter-day Saints church to be more creative with its roofline

A rendering for the proposed house of worship for the Church of Latter-day Saints that is being reviewed for a location near Wilton Center.

A rendering for the proposed house of worship for the Church of Latter-day Saints that is being reviewed for a location near Wilton Center.

Contributed Photo

WILTON — Plans to build a new worship center for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints should include a more interesting roofline, the architects were told by town officials.

Members of the town Architectural Review Board presented a list of suggestions for the church project Thursday, including more interesting architectural features in the roofline and a desire for more material samples for the proposed church, which would be built across from Town Hall if it gets its approvals.

This was the second time representatives from the LDS appeared before the Architectural Review Board. A third review is being planned before the development would be sent to Planning and Zoning later this year.

Initial plans called for a new house of worship on a half-acre lot at 241 Danbury Road. According to the purchase agreement submitted with the site plans, the plot of land is to be purchased for $625,000 by the church.

According to Robin Benning, one of the architects representing the project, the site would include an outdoor plaza with a monument in its center. In the latest rendition of the site plans, the plaza feature was set away from the building and near Danbury Road.

“Who is it telling a story to?” asked ARB Chairman Robert Sanders.

He clarified, saying that if the plaza is meant to be an attraction for the congregation, it may not be in the most ideal location.

“It’s kind of in an isolated place in relation to the dynamics of the rest of the site,” Sanders said. If the plaza is to tell a story to the general public, he said, maybe it is in the right place near the main road.

According to architects Benning and Rob Burkheimer, the monument plaza is one of the features being debated by the church’s representatives and could be erased from the site plans entirely. The monument plaza is not mandated by church doctrine, but rather is something that the congregation desires to do on its own, Burkheimer said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints currently has houses of worship in nearby New Canaan and Stamford, as well as others in the state including in Trumbull, Newtown and Danbury.

“I think you’re doing a wonderful job,” ARB member Kevin Quinlan told the architects. “Its looking very good.”