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
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, MM Ossorgin <mm@o...> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I have been asked to share our experience in obtaining and
> 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
> site on a ridge-top in Santa Fe which is governed by both county
> city authorities. Santa Fe is heavily protected by these agencies.
> did not obtain a permit (placing the church at a risk) and we built
> first church on this site. This aggravated and united the majority
> 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
> We came back and started all over with changes in plans which
> us of any prior concessions since the neighbors won the first
> 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
> holding services, we were blessed with an unanimous approval of our
> requested zoning change.
> Vladyka predicted the entire experience and shrugged off any
> 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,
> moleibens, pray to St. Juliana for help, deal with the neighbors
> 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
> 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
> to know these authorities and the "influential people" behind them.
> After all, now we are all "friends" helping one another and we are
> in this together! I am indebted for life. :)
> Seriously, I will happily oblige any request for advise on any
> In Christ, Michael, subdeacon