Church ready to move on 67/Highland Valley project

By Karen Brainard

Representatives of the Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church’s building project, proposed for the northeast corner of State Route 67 and Highland Valley Road, sought final approval from the Ramona Community Planning Group but were told to return after they receive the go-ahead from the Ramona Design Review Board.

Although several planners at the Nov. 1 meeting were ready to approve the project, RCPG Vice President Chris Anderson said signage, lighting, and other aspects of the project needed approval from the design review board.

Anderson, who also serves as secretary of design review, said the board had only seen preliminary plans.

“We work together. We (design review) should have had that on our agenda last month,” said Anderson, adding that she didn’t know why the county didn’t send the information.

Architect Greg Danskin and church representatives presented revised plans of the project, which has been in the works for the past 10 years.

The church plans to build four primary structures: a 5,745-square-foot sanctuary, a 5,500-square-foot fellowship hall, a 3,700-square-foot administration/classroom building, and a 320-square-foot maintenance building.

New to the project is the addition of a sewer package treatment plant that will serve only the church campus.

Danskin said the land won’t support a septic system.

Noting that the Regional Water Quality Control Board has strict regulations for such small plants, a representative for the project explained the process and said the sewage will be treated before it is discharged 12 inches underground over a large area.

Anderson said the planning group has opposed package treatment plants in the past, but through her work in real estate, she is familiar with the technological advances.

“What you’re proposing is state of the art and fabulous,” Anderson said.

Spirit of Joy Pastor Dan Erlenbusch said he was sorry there was miscommunication with the county and he understood the need for design review approval, but expressed his frustrations with the process and the time involved.

“Everything at this point has been approved. This congregation has spent over $350,000 to get to this point,” said Erlenbusch. “...We are so ready to move on.”

   
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