More Problems for Rock Church – Now Peninsula Planners Want to Suspend Permit to Operate at Liberty Station

by on August 14, 2012 · 17 comments

in Popular, San Diego

 Planners Agree With Grand Jury to Suspend Conditional-Use Permit for Church

by Tony De Garate / / Originally published August 9, 2012

The majority of Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) members agree with a recent San Diego County Grand Jury report, which recommends the city suspend a conditional-use permit for The Rock Church to operate at Liberty Station — its home since 2007.

The board last month voted 7-5 in support of the grand jury finding released May 24 that the church is not compatible with local land-use plans.   Under the grand jury recommendation, the 3,500-seat church and academy would potentially be forced to close while the city’s Development Services Department reviews whether the church is appropriate in Liberty Station. The action could leave thousands of worshipers and hundreds of students from pre-kindergarden through high school in the lurch.

Under state law, Mayor Jerry Sanders has until Aug. 22 to agree to implement the recommendation, explain why the recommendation is unwarranted or ask for an extension. The mayor is under no obligation to heed the vote of the PCPB, which has only an advisory role to the city.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Goatskull August 14, 2012 at 10:33 am

While I’m no fan of the Rock Church in any way shape or form, it seem pretty unfair to me to close down/and or suspend it at this point. It could be argued that it never should have been permitted to go up in the first place but well, it did and has been open since 2007.


Tyler August 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

Good. I’m sick of waiting 30 minutes to leave the Trader Joe’s parking lot on weekends.


Goatskull August 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

You could always not shop there on weekends or go after service are completed.


Oh Be Nice August 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I was at the PCPB meeting when Pastor Miles made his presentation to have his project approved in the first place. The Board had major concerns about traffic impacts and safety, and Miles’ response was “It’s not my problem”. I never forgot it because I have been in his shoes before and I would have never considered telling a community that the traffic impacts related to my project weren’t my problem. I would be interested to see what assumptions were made in the original traffic impact analysis regarding attendance.


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG August 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm

When the church moves, can it be transformed into a coi pond dedicated to peace?


Goatskull August 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm

IF the church moves I think it should be turned into a brewery with a koi pond.


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG August 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Finally, someone w/ a good idea. The icon on Soledad could be transformed in a job-creating brewery. Hallelujah! Gold pilsner has been struck! Let’s run a zip line between the two points. Cheers.
P.S. Let’s not forget the koi pond.


RB August 15, 2012 at 7:46 am

Liberty Station is about to have its brewery soon.
Stone should be opening this fall.


Goatskull August 15, 2012 at 8:54 am

It’s about time. That’s been in the making for well over a year. I know they (Stone) have run into delays with permits and tons of other red tape and I wondered if it would ever in get off the ground. The “coming soon” sign near the golf course has been there forever.


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG August 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

That’s “koi” pond for peace. Excuse me.


Debbie August 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm

AH HA….so it came true what all those activists said about the problems that would arise when Corky took over NTC! So why did the community listen to Byron Wear, Marcella Escobar-Ecke, etc. etc. look what happended. Now the merchants are losing money, the owners of real estate at Liberty Station are feed up with the invasion of people and the residents of the area have to endure more traffic. What has this church done to improve the quality of PL community? Maybe building out in east county might be the way for the Rock to go??? Better yet, why can’t people just worship on their own or with their family? Make a nice breakfast at home, talk to your kids and pray and do something nice for someone in need.


Byron Wear March 1, 2013 at 12:04 am


Your comments are incorrect.

NTC/Liberty Station turned out to be a great project. A 30 member citizens committee developed the mixed use plan, not McMillin. The Economic Conveyance from the Dept. of Defense required a balanced plan to replace jobs lost by the base closure. After I left the City Council, the Rock Church was approved. The original plan included a double decked parking lot just north of the Rock Church which would have resolved many of the parking issues at NTC.

I am proud of the NTC Promenade and Civic Arts District, the 46 acre waterfront park, and the mixed use planning effort. In addition, I was able to successfully negotiate a $7.5 Million Homeless Assistance Plan which provided funding for Veterans Village on Pacific Highway, Catholic Charities, Take Wing Homeless Teen program, and the Toussant Teen Center. No Homeless facilities ended up at NTC which was a promise I kept.

Byron Wear


OB Dude March 4, 2013 at 2:23 am

No my comments are not incorrect since there are many residents feed up with the traffic nightmere….that so many predicted would happen Just because you disagree does not mean I am wrong. This project’s greatness can be debated on its goods and bads. but I bet the McMillans ended up happy.


Byron Wear December 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

On my way down for a Sunday bike ride along the waterfront park at Liberty Station…


Bearded OBcean August 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Better yet, they should just abolish religion. Why permit free people to gather in strange groups as they choose, right? Your treastice on religion is fascinating.

Does your corollary extend to protest gatherings as well? Should those be conducted only around a kitchen table amongst family members, too?

Good grief. You don’t think some of the thousands of church members solicit the businesses at Liberty Station either before or after their service?


Debbie August 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

You do a have an understandable point….”Why permit free people to gather in strange groups as they choose, right? ” I have to say that I support gathering but this gathering is at expense of the community. If protest groups gathered daily at specific times and created unbearable amounts of traffic, I would so NO to that activity also. Not everything has to be “tolerated”. Churches don’t pay taxes so I would be interested to know with this intrusion on the community to allow free people to gather what are they giving back to the community? If they are an asset then why are so many upset with the Rock?

I guess only the merchants can comment on the soliciation of their businesses by church goers and how if at all it effects the community member from visiting while Church is in session.


Kathy Blavatt August 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

All of NTC has been a bait and switch, land giveaway and public funding McMillin Co. The Developer Disposition Agreement called for the property the Rock Church sits on to be a school. A foreign language school (that had in the in-term been in the building) and others thought they were going to get that building, but JMI V.P. bragged at council about swinging the deal for the Rock Church.

Pastor Mile didn’t care about the putting a kids playground next to the jet fuel line. The same one that they said, “the playground will be built 150 ft. away”, (would have be required to be 1,500 ft. away if it was a public school).

The previous grand jury also had problems with the Rock Church locating at the NTC site. Excerpt: Playgrounds Slated To Deafen Kids
By Joe Deegan San Diego Reader, May 12, 2005
The April 21 report is called “a cautionary tale that the general public and the San Diego City Council should consider when future major land-use opportunities are presented.” Written by the San Diego County Grand Jury, it recommends to the city council “not to allow new residential and school uses in noise-impact areas” and to “give serious consideration to adverse health impacts when evaluating development and use proposals.” The recommendations are based on nine major findings on the development of Point Loma’s Liberty Station after the U.S. Navy transferred 430 acres of land to the city in 1997.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune on April 6, the project already has 349 homes, “almost all of them occupied, with homeowners paying annual assessments ranging from $2138 to $4307.” Corky McMillin Companies is the city’s developer for the project.
In compiling its report, the grand jury says it consulted city staff and the city’s redevelopment agency, interviewed private citizens, watched videotapes of the city’s planning commission and the city council, studied “a current Lindbergh Field noise-contour map” on how the airport measures noise, searched the Internet to understand noise effects, and reviewed planning and other documents. In the first of three appendices, the jury lists 35 documents reviewed for the report.

The city did as it many times does, sent back some trite statements and ignored the report.


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