WE DID IT!
We got our conditional use permit (CUP) from the city of San Juan Capistrano! You may not realize what a big deal this is, but without it, we couldn’t even use the building we leased as a church. Our first hearing was continued to investigate further into the parking, traffic and impact on our neighbors. The planning commission did not know us and they were not sure they could buy the facts we were selling. Tonight they got to know who we are.
What we did
Our church showed up to fill the council chamber. We gathered before to pray and we gathered after to party! But in the meeting, our people were respectful, joyful, honoring and just being themselves. But it made an impact on the commissioners.
The City Staff Did great!
First, the city team presented their case that we had satisfied all the requirements of the city code for parking, traffic and that we had the consent of the other tenants. They really got the crux of the case solidified. But then our people got to put a face to the Mountain View name.
I Told Our Story
First I got to tell our story of wandering for the last 20 years all over south Orange County and coming back to San Juan and even to where I had my first job at Vermuelens Ranch Market (where we are leasing for our church home). I introduced our people, the owner, our attorneys, our architects and all the other amazing gifts God has given to our church. Then, it got good.
Charlie’s Granddaughter is a Star!
One of the owners got up to speak. She is the granddaughter of the original owner. Boy, did she kill it! First, she shared about their family heritage and how they have tried to make a market work in that space. She told about how they came to consider our church and came to appreciate us and how they want us there to rejuvenate the center and make it the community center it was intended to be. Cheers followed.
Our People Shined
Then, one by one our people got up and shared their love for San Juan and for Mountain View. They shared the value of our church in the community both in our service and our patronage of the businesses in the area. Each one was amazing! Those who had registered to speak but didn’t feel the need simply stated their support of our proposal and overwhelmed the council with positive support. Usually, they only get negative criticism. We had none!
Ted Finished Strong
Finally, one of the tenants in the center had the last word. Ted from the frame store on the corner got up to express his support of the owners in whatever they wanted to do. He declared that we would work together to make the center an important part of the community. His speech brought tears to many eyes and cheers from everyone present.
The Commission was Unanimous!
When the council finally weighed in on their decision, it was unanimous. They granted us the CUP. Not only that, they said that we need more people like our church in this city and in the city council meetings. They invited us to participate in the city!
God’s Timing is Perfect!
What a gift it was that we didn’t get approved right away! God used the struggle to rally our congregation. He reminded us that nothing will happen just because the staff is “on it”. It takes all of us. We need the whole body. And we need those outside the body, like Ted, as our extended family. We are in this together and what God has called us to is bigger than any of us.
The restoration of all things is a high call. It is also a big job. If we can do it with this center, we can do it with this city. Then we can move beyond that until we see God’s kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It won’t happen by force. Tonight, we saw how it can happen by love and honor. And it was a beautiful thing to witness. You can watch the replay here.
Sunday, we kick off thanksgiving with worship and testimonies. Come celebrate with us!