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Neighborhood Groups and the Orthodox: St. Juliana's victory!

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  • MM Ossorgin
    Hello everyone, I have been asked to share our experience in obtaining and receiving zoning approval for our church with both of these lists since our priest
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2003
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      Hello everyone,

      I have been asked to share our experience in obtaining and receiving
      zoning approval for our church with both of these lists since our
      priest (Dmitry Wieber) has signed off until after lent. Vladyka
      Gabriel, Protodeacon Leonid, reader Isaac already know of their
      importance to our parish. We want to thank any of you who offered
      prayers and support.

      We bought (a small parish of less than fifty) a three acre residential
      site on a ridge-top in Santa Fe which is governed by both county and
      city authorities. Santa Fe is heavily protected by these agencies. I
      did not obtain a permit (placing the church at a risk) and we built our
      first church on this site. This aggravated and united the majority of
      neighbors against us. The church was served with a notice of
      violation. We applied for a zoning change but were met with a
      tremendous amount of neighborhood opposition and lost before both
      authorities. We appealed and lost in District, State and State Supreme
      courts.

      We came back and started all over with changes in plans which relieved
      us of any prior concessions since the neighbors won the first round.
      We had a new application and "did it right. " We were granted an
      extension, met with the ever thinning opposing neighbors in the
      presence of county and city staff.

      Last Tuesday night, after four years after purchasing the church and
      holding services, we were blessed with an unanimous approval of our
      requested zoning change.

      Vladyka predicted the entire experience and shrugged off any obstacle
      as a temptation reminding us that the evil one would not rest and
      despises the building of any church. He urged us to be prepared, serve
      moleibens, pray to St. Juliana for help, deal with the neighbors and
      authorities, move on and get it done. Vladyka and father were the
      spiritual guides. Seek their advice and help in these areas before
      undertaking such a project.

      For advice on "earthly cares" (zoning issues) I feel well seasoned and
      am available if I can be of any help. I will have to fit you in
      between the meetings (the calls come in daily and I have a meeting
      tonight) I am now asked to attend, committees I am asked to join,
      "influence" I am requested to exercise which was obtained while getting
      to know these authorities and the "influential people" behind them.
      After all, now we are all "friends" helping one another and we are all
      in this together! I am indebted for life. :)

      Seriously, I will happily oblige any request for advise on any church
      project.

      In Christ, Michael, subdeacon
    • James Baglien
      Glory to God, and congratulations on your perserverence and success! As some of you know, our experiences in Corvallis, OR (another heavily protected city)
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 4, 2003
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        Glory to God, and congratulations on your perserverence and success!

        As some of you know, our experiences in Corvallis, OR (another
        "heavily protected" city) were remarkably similar to those described
        by Subdeacon Michael in Santa Fe, both as to the difficulties
        encountered, and as to their ultimate resolution.

        The moral of the story is that meticulously following the procedural
        niceties in such matters comes highly recommended. It both satisfies
        the bureaucrats (who often then take *your* side, once you are seen
        as cooperative and respectful of their role), and wears down the
        opposition during the long process.

        I offer my poor services as well, to anyone seeking advice on a
        similar church project.

        In IC XC,

        Pr. James Baglien
        St. Martin the Merciful Orthodox Church
        Corvallis, Oregon


        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, MM Ossorgin <mm@o...> wrote:
        > Hello everyone,
        >
        > I have been asked to share our experience in obtaining and
        receiving
        > zoning approval for our church with both of these lists since our
        > priest (Dmitry Wieber) has signed off until after lent. Vladyka
        > Gabriel, Protodeacon Leonid, reader Isaac already know of their
        > importance to our parish. We want to thank any of you who offered
        > prayers and support.
        >
        > We bought (a small parish of less than fifty) a three acre
        residential
        > site on a ridge-top in Santa Fe which is governed by both county
        and
        > city authorities. Santa Fe is heavily protected by these agencies.
        I
        > did not obtain a permit (placing the church at a risk) and we built
        our
        > first church on this site. This aggravated and united the majority
        of
        > neighbors against us. The church was served with a notice of
        > violation. We applied for a zoning change but were met with a
        > tremendous amount of neighborhood opposition and lost before both
        > authorities. We appealed and lost in District, State and State
        Supreme
        > courts.
        >
        > We came back and started all over with changes in plans which
        relieved
        > us of any prior concessions since the neighbors won the first
        round.

        > We had a new application and "did it right. " We were granted an
        > extension, met with the ever thinning opposing neighbors in the
        > presence of county and city staff.
        >
        > Last Tuesday night, after four years after purchasing the church
        and
        > holding services, we were blessed with an unanimous approval of our
        > requested zoning change.
        >
        > Vladyka predicted the entire experience and shrugged off any
        obstacle
        > as a temptation reminding us that the evil one would not rest and
        > despises the building of any church. He urged us to be prepared,
        serve
        > moleibens, pray to St. Juliana for help, deal with the neighbors
        and
        > authorities, move on and get it done. Vladyka and father were the
        > spiritual guides. Seek their advice and help in these areas before
        > undertaking such a project.
        >
        > For advice on "earthly cares" (zoning issues) I feel well seasoned
        and
        > am available if I can be of any help. I will have to fit you in
        > between the meetings (the calls come in daily and I have a meeting
        > tonight) I am now asked to attend, committees I am asked to join,
        > "influence" I am requested to exercise which was obtained while
        getting
        > to know these authorities and the "influential people" behind them.

        > After all, now we are all "friends" helping one another and we are
        all
        > in this together! I am indebted for life. :)
        >
        > Seriously, I will happily oblige any request for advise on any
        church
        > project.
        >
        > In Christ, Michael, subdeacon
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