A controversial application for a change in land use has been withdrawn. Iglesia Ni Cristo Church, the owner of the former stables at 650 Cape Breton Drive, withdrew its application Friday for a church within the cafe building on the property, said Deputy Planning Director Christian Murdock. That doesn’t mean the project is dead, however.
Instead, the property owner’s representative Raymond Frank asked for a new application form for a rezoning of the property. The group will now seek to rezone the land to a planned development zoning district, said Deputy Planning Director Christian Murdock in an email to the Tribune.
New proposed plans include construction of a chapel, but also grading, driveway paving, parking spaces and multi-family housing, Murdock said. Murdock said he has no information on the timing or likelihood of the application being submitted.
The hearings for the church’s temporary-use application brought out many speakers opposed to the plan to convert the former stables into a church. They complained of noise and traffic and disagreed with the proposed change of use from quiet stables with riding lessons to a church.
The land had been used as a stables since 1958. Sweeney Ridge Equestrian Stables had been in business since 1958, boarding horses and giving riding lessons. There were rodeos in the earlier decades. California Riding Academy used the stables for riding lessons and horse boarding in the last 12 years.
Iglesia Ni Cristo Church bought the property last year from Social Good Fund.
This version corrects to make more clear that the application has been withdrawn. It also notes the withdrawn application was for a church in the cafe building and changes the headline to better reflect the facts.