Parking Expansion Project
Preparing Our Church to Reach Future Generations
In 2000, Heritage Christian Fellowship built our church facility on the edge of town on Avenida La Pata, overlooking nothing but open hills behind us. It was a faith-stretching exercise, but well worth it as our church building has been a wonderful, well-used tool in the Lord’s hands for 19 years.
One of the things that makes our building useful is having parking available.
From the beginning, we’ve enjoyed the benefits of a shared parking agreement with the office building next door. During nights and weekends, Heritage has exclusive use of their 91 parking spaces. During weekday working hours, they have exclusive use of 37 of our 59 parking spaces, while we retain exclusive use of 22 spaces.
In 2001, Heritage entered a lease-purchase agreement with the City of San Clemente for the vacant lot adjacent to our building, which we refer to as Lot 2. Because of unstable soil on a portion of the land, Heritage purchased it for a bargain $100,000. We’ve always felt that the Lord preserved that land just for our future.
Because we are limited to only 22 parking spaces on weekdays, parking has always been a challenge for us. In 2006, under then Senior Pastor Jim Glynn, Heritage raised funds for developing additional parking on Lot 2. However, when the recession hit, those plans were put on hold, but the funds were held exclusively for a future parking lot.
In 2015, the City of San Clemente restriped Avenida La Pata and installed No Parking signs on the street. Realizing they had taken away our valuable overflow parking, the city officials in the planning department allowed us to cover the No Parking signs when we needed to park on the street. Unfortunately, those city officials have all moved on and new staff are in place.
Starting in 2018, city representatives have been applying pressure to Heritage to cease parking on Avenida La Pata. They are responding to complaints by cyclists that we’re parking in a bike lane.
Currently the office building next door is unoccupied, so we’re able to use their parking on weekdays. But when their building gets leased out, and it will, we will be limited to 22 spots. This will impact weekday events like the Women’s Bible Study and the homeschool coop.
What’s the Problem?
For 19 years, we’ve enjoyed overflow parking on Avenida La Pata whenever needed. Sometimes we park 30+ cars on the street. And for big events, we occasionally park on the dirt on Lot 2. But now we’re told by the city that they want us off Avenida La Pata, and that parking on the dirt lot isn’t acceptable in the long run.
That only leaves us with overflow parking across Avenida La Pata on Callejon – a hefty walk and certainly not a good solution.
Our leadership believes now is the time to build the additional parking to comply with the city and provide for the future. Our plan is to develop the lower portion of Lot 2 to build 2 rows of parking with approximately 40 stalls. In addition to parking, we’ll use the opportunity to enhance the gathering area and seating space at the entrance area of our building, and improve landscaping where needed. The parking lot will be designed to fit well with any future building on the site.
The project is estimated to cost $575,000. This is an early estimate, as plans are still being finalized. It could be possible to complete this by next summer, depending on the time it takes to go through the city permitting process. We have a wonderful team of volunteers currently contracting with an engineering firm to design and permit the project.
How You Can Help
Building the new parking area would not be possible without the generous support of our church family. Thanks to your giving, we are more than halfway to the goal, but we need a little over $120,000 to finish the project. Please pray about participating by giving above and beyond your regular church support. Our goal is to have all funds by the end of the year, before we break ground.
Would you also please partner in prayer for the completion of this project? Pray for favor with the city and speedy processing of our permits. Pray for generous giving, excellent design work, and a smooth construction process. And pray that God would fill up these parking stalls with people getting saved!
Thank you for being a part of preparing our church to reach future generations.