City action stalled

Neighbors are concerned about activity at the property that used to be the Sweeney Equestrian Center and is now under contract to a church. Adam Pardee / Tribune

Speakers at the Pacifica Planning Commission meeting on March 1 complained about Iglesia ni Cristo, the new owner of the former stables on Cape Breton Drive.

The church’s six-month temporary-use application to hold church services in a former riding arena is pending with the Planning Commission. At the last meeting it was on the agenda for a hearing continuance. Deputy Planning Director Christian Murdock said the city awaits more information from the church and he didn’t know when that would happen. No hearing date was set.

The project has been controversial, attracting complaints at every meeting.

Lori Yap, a neighbor on Cape Breton Drive, said she heard noise at the site and said furniture was moved in. Sheri Stoddard said workers on the site sounded like they were making long-term permanent changes.

“I feel they are not being transparent. Where is everyone going to park? If there could be an Environmental Impact Report to protect wildlife, do it,” she said.

Mary Ann Waterman, a Cape Breton Drive resident, said she heard what sounded like concrete being poured.

“The thought of buses up and down that road is terrifying,” she said.

Erin Macias asked the city to intervene because she said trucks were making deliveries as late as 11 p.m. and what sounded like a choir practice was happening as early as 6:30 a.m.

“We have received a number of comments about that. We know your concerns,” Commission Chair John Nibbelin said.

“We are taking appropriate steps to address the complaints that have been sent us. We are following all appropriate processes,” said Murdock.

In a later email to the Tribune, he said planning staff was grateful for the information from neighbors.

“We have met with the new property owner and explained the applicable zoning regulations to them,” he wrote.

Director of Planning Tina Wehrmeister wrote in an email to the Tribune that inspections were conducted last week.

“The inspection did not find any work being done that required a building permit. The inspection noted some furniture was stored in one of the buildings, but it was stacked on top of each other and not usable at the time of inspection,” she wrote.

Raymond Frank, the architect for the church, said the church provided everything needed for the application for a future hearing. He said the only work done on the site was a city-required sewer line replacement. He said he did not think the workers were there as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late as 11:30 p.m.

“The city is still looking into things,” he said. “We are waiting for a review so we can have a hearing and get a permit.” 

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