biserica.org:compendium:articles:christianlife:July-September: Letter of Attorney Sapera
THE LAW OFFICES OF STEVEN C. SAPERA
A professional Law Corporation
TEL (310) 829-3949 [MAIN NUMBER]
SANTA MONICA [MAILING ADDRESS]
2001 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, STE. 5 10
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA 90403
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL WITH RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
RE: Holy Trinity Romanian Church Sunland Building Project;
Letter of Support from Mr. Alex Padilla, District 7
Dear Mr. Morton:
I hope this transmittal finds you well and rested after your vacation. As general counsel for the Holy Trinity Romanian Church in Southern California, Father Alecse, Parish Priest and head of the church's building committee, has contacted me to facilitate the issuance of a letter of support from Councilman Alex Padilla's office. As such, kindly direct all verbal communication directly to Father Alecse or myself and remit any correspondence to my Santa Monica address for my immediate review and appropriate response.
As you know, the Holy Trinity Romanian Church's project to build a house of worship in Sunland has been an ongoing and successful project which, with the efforts of the church building committee and the indispensable assistance of the Council's office, has met all of the requirements of obtaining a conditional use permit. Of course, the conditional use permit was properly issued and his still valid and in legal effect. Indeed, the building committee and through the tireless effort of the persons at the Council's office have met on numerous occasions and have had fruitful discussions in which it was indicated by the Council on September 12, 2005 that a letter of support will be issued and was actually in the drafting stage. Unfortunately, a letter of support has not been received as of the date of this transmittal.
As some time has passed, we are facing difficulty in continuing and keeping the building of the project on track. The church has spent nearly $200,000.00 to have all necessary plans [architectural, civil/structural, grading, electrical, mechanical, landscaping, etc.] approved, which occurred more than two years ago. Unfortunately, nothing of substance has occurred since.
Crucial issues such as time sensitive construction tasks like the need for proper land grading, the initial start of erecting the physical structures, and facing the increase in construction costs via increased lumbar and gas prices are but a few of the ever growing concerns that our church faces.
Additionally, the church is also concerned regarding the negative effect that the delay has had on parishioners in light of the fact that it has been more than on year since the announcement of the start of the construction of the new church and surrounding facilities, yet nothing has been started. Not only is the church concerned for the failure to collect these contributions for the past year, but the diminution of motivation for the parishioners to commit to future investment commitments post construction and beyond is cause for extreme concern.
Even more importantly, being that our church is a non-for profit, we faced with certain deadlines with respect to funding from the national orthodox parish organization that is helping fund the project. One of the contingencies that we have to abide by is the proper commencement of construction of the church within an allotted time in order to preserve the earmarked funds for construction of the church. If we do not meet this deadline, we will stand to lose over $1,000,000.00 in funding.
Although cognizant and understanding of the Council's impacted schedule, I respectfully request that the letter of support be issued within a reasonable time so that we may continue with a project that we trust will not only be aesthetically appealing for the community but will also contribute the intangible benefits that any house of worship presents upon a community.
Of course, I not only stand personally ready to assist the Council in any form that will expedite the process in the drafting of the letter of support but am available for your questions or concerns at your convenience.
Very truly yours,
STEVEN C. SAPERA
Attorney at Law
CC: FATHER CONSTANTIN ALECSE
MR. DAN ROSALES, JR., PACOIMA DISTRICT OFFICE
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