Last week, we received an urgent call from one of our ministry friends, Ron Harper. He asked for our immediate help to prevent the County of San Diego from placing a huge burden on churches. Ron is a contractor who specializes in building churches. Ron informed us that the County of San Diego was planning to adopt a new law that would require all churches to drastically increase the amount of parking they provide before they expand any facilities or build a new building.
Ron said that the new law would require churches to purchase twice the amount of land currently required. Further, a church would be required to buy almost twice the amount of land that a similarly sized movie theater, convention center or other assembly-type use would be required to buy even though the parking needs are the same.
In most cases, the cost of having church in the County of San Diego would be so great that churches would be priced out of existence.
We intervened and wrote an extensive legal opinion to the County of San Diego on behalf of numerous churches, including Maranatha Christian Fellowship and Horizon Christian Fellowship, explaining why the new law violated federal law. Along with Ron, we were able to build a grassroots effort in about 12 hours that included an e-mail blast from a San Diego state assemblyman and support from San Diego churches representing tens of thousands of residents.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted down the new law and in favor of churches. The Supervisors mentioned that this had become “a huge controversy, suddenly-out of the blue.” Ron Harper commented, “It was great to watch a victory come together ‘out of the blue’ in such a short time!”
Thank you for supporting our ministry so that we can quickly come to the aid of worthy causes like this one! Although this case will never hit national news, the victory will help save millions upon millions of dollars for San Diego churches.