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Rock Church Incompatible With Liberty Station Land-Use Plans, Grand Jury Finds

The Rock Church is incompatible with land-use plans that govern Liberty Station and the city permit that allows it to operate should be suspended pending a review, the San Diego County Grand Jury said in a report issued today.

The Rock Church should not have been given a conditional use permit in an educational area set aside in the land-use plans, according to the grand jury. The panel recommended that Mayor Jerry Sanders direct the city's Development Services Department to suspend the license, and review the mega-church's compatibility with the plans and whether it is appropriate for the area.

Neither the mayor's office nor The Rock Church immediately responded to messages seeking comment.

The grand jury launched an investigation after it received a complaint about traffic and parking problems associated with The Rock's 12,000 parishioners on Sundays. The San Diego Police Department has to close Truxton Road to accommodate the crowds.

Liberty Station, on the site of the old Naval Training Center, is a mixed-use neighborhood of homes and commercial businesses. Its land-use plans include an educational area that includes The Rock Church and its associated school, The Rock Academy, and High Tech High.

The grand jury found that a church was an incompatible use for the educational area; that traffic congestion and police closure of Truxton Road on Sundays was a direct result of the incompatibility; and that a conditional use permit that allows The Rock Church to operate was not allowed to be issued by the city.

The mayor has until Aug. 22 to respond to the report.

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