biserica.org:compendium:articles:christianlife:July-September: Temporary stagnation


Temporary stagnation of the construction project

(October 1, 2006: Construction project UPDATE)

For the last 5 years, from 2001-2005, the president of the construction committee and the parochial office presented detailed reports of the ongoing progress (up to the 2nd of August 2005) of the construction program at all parochial general meetings, for the building of the new “Holy Trinity” church.

The report of the annual meeting from January 29 th , 2006 will be printed in the present magazine and posted on the Internet at www.tinyurl.com/y82mhe

During this entire period, most of the issues of the magazine “Viata Crestina” were sent via email to the members of the construction committee. Periodically the parochial office published detailed reports overlooking the progress of the new church's construction.

Unfortunately, on August 2 , 2005, Architect Garo Minassian and Father Constantin Alecse presented the construction plans to the two representatives Dan Rosales Jr, (District Director) and Khaim Morton, (Field deputy) at the district office of counselor Alex Padilla (L.A. District #7 - where our construction project resides.) The project was temporarily halted until the arrival of the “letter of support” from the office of the District Board (District Board #7 Alex Padilla) and from the office of the “Zone Administration” adjusted for condition #5 and #15 of the conditioned construction permit.

After many difficulties, the church leadership passed all the legal obstacles made by L.A. Construction Department, imposed by the conditioned construction permit and the demands issued by the Zoning Administration. On August 2 nd 2005, the architect Garo Minassian and Father Constantin Alecse successfully presented the architectural plans to both representatives Dan Rosales Jr, (District Director) and Khaim Morton, (Field deputy) at the district office of counselor Alex Padilla (L.A. District #7 - where our construction project resides.)

The meeting from August 2 nd , 2005 was fruitful and we were assured that the office of the counselor Alex Padilla would support the construction project of our church.

We have been told that after Mr. Padilla evaluates the church plans (architectural, landscape and irrigation) the office will send a letter of support to the office of the Zoning Administration of L.A.

On September 12 th , 2005, Mr. Khaim Morton (Field Deputy) contacted the church saying that they are still working on the support letter and that we have to contact the president of the neighborhood council of “Shadow Hills”, Ms. Mary Anne Guye, to also present the architectural plans of our church.

After a series of 4 or 5 unpleasant meetings which took more than a year between 1987-1988, we tried to convince the representatives of the district council that these meetings of our church representatives and that of the Shadow Hills Neighborhood Council were not necessary because the construction project of our church was approved in 1988 at the same time we had the approval of the 21 conditions of the construction authorization.

Between September 20 th and December 5 th , 2005 we were assured (four times by phone contact) by Mr. Khaim Morton (Field Deputy of councilor Alex Padilla), we will receive by mail the promised letter of support only with the condition that our church leadership will meet the Neighborhood council of Shadow Hills.

Faced with no other option, we had to agree to this condition with the understanding that the office of the councilor will first send the promised letter to us in which we will then forward to the Zoning Administration office of L.A. After that, we will schedule the meeting with the Neighborhood Council of “Shadow Hills”.

After more than half a year in which we contacted and left more than 50 phone messages and emails (sent to both of the representatives of the district offices that we've met), on January 29 th , 2006 (the date of our parochial meeting) our church did not receive the promised letter from the office of councilor Alex Padilla.

The parochial meetings from January 29 th 2006 guided the construction committee to seek the legal services of a law firm to represent the parish in obtaining the necessary approvals for the beginning of the construction.

After the Holy Easter holiday on May 22 nd , 2006, the representatives of the construction committee had a meeting with the lawyer Steven Sapera from the law firm “Law Office of Steven Sapera” (Santa Monica) who accepted to represent our church in this legal matter.

In the letter dated June 26 th , 2006, sent via registered mail from the law firm to the office of councilor Alex Padilla (two pages printed in “Viata Crestina”) made clear the damage toward the church because of the unjustified delay of the promised support letter and is being asked to “officially” deliver the promised support letter as soon as possible so that the church can begin the construction for the new church.

In the month of July, August and September 2006 – the Law Firm was in constant contact by phone or email with the representatives of the office of the councilor Alex Padilla and received assurances that the Holy Trinity Church will be in the possession of the support letter any day now”.

Now at the beginning of October 2006 when we prepare the new issue of Viata Crestina” #5-9, 2006, the Church is in the same situation as it was more than one year ago (August 2 nd , 2005) with broken promises and deception made by the office of the councilor Alex Padilla… soon the church will receive the promised letter.

Now when the rainy season begins, it will be nearly impossible to start the necessary grading and construction till April 2007 but we will continue the “fight” for our rights to receive the permit so we can begin the construction work for our new church.

By all appearances, it looks like we are being religiously discriminated but on the other hand, the economic factor may have a very important role in this process (this is the interpretation of the parochial committee). The city officials might think that with all of the difficulties that the Church has been through, it will abandon the project to a big land investor who will buy the 8 acres of property owned by the Holy Trinity, giving the city huge annual tax revenues in the tens of thousands of dollars.

We assure our community and the officials of the city that we will not drop the project. It does not matter how long it is going to take to obtain the permit, the project of the new church will be fulfilled by the grace and will of God.

In the issue of “Viata Crestina” from October – December 2006, we will keep you in touch with the progress made by the contracted law firm concerning the necessary approval to mark the construction of the new church. At the next parochial meeting scheduled for February 4 th , 2007 the council will decide on the legal procedures in which the construction committee will follow to begin the construction of the new church.

For and on behalf of the Building Committee, Constantin Jercan, chairman and Fr Constantin Alecse, parish priest

(Translation into English by Dan Platt)

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