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File #: 21-0465    Version: 1
Type: PC/DRC New Items Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 8/11/2021 In control: Planning Commission
On agenda: 11/15/2021 Final action:
Title: Public Hearing: Conditional Use Permit No. 3143-21, Living Stone Methodist Church, 295 S. Flower Street
Attachments: 1. Staff Report, 2. Attachment 1 Planning Commission Resolution No. PC 30-21, 3. Attachment 2 Vicinity Map, 4. Attachment 3 Applicant Project Description, 5. Attachment 4 Site Photos, 6. Attachment 5 Project Plans

TO:                                          Chair and Members of the Planning Commission


THRU:                     Anna Pehoushek, Assistant Community Development Director                                          


FROM:                     Vidal F. Márquez, Assistant Planner



1.                     Subject


Public Hearing: Conditional Use Permit No. 3143-21, Living Stone Methodist Church, 295 S. Flower Street


2.                     Summary

The applicant proposes to operate a church within an existing 4,862-sq. ft. professional office building.

3.                     Recommended Action


Adopt Planning Commission Resolution No. PC 30-21 entitled:

A Resolution of the Planning Commission of the City of Orange approving Conditional Use Permit No. 3143-21 allowing Living Stone Methodist Church to operate a church with classes at 295 S. Flower Street.


4.                     AUTHORIZING GUIDELINES

Orange Municipal Code (OMC) 17.10.030.C. and Table 17.13.030 authorizes the Planning Commission to review and take action on churches in commercial zones.

5.                     project background



Living Stone Methodist Church

Property Owner

Living Stone Methodist Church

Property Location

295 S. Flower Street

Existing General Plan Land Use Element Designation

Neighborhood Office Professional (NOP)

Existing Zoning Classification

Office Professional (OP)

Old Towne


Specific Plan/PC


Site Size

29,185-sq. ft. lot


The project site is located on the east side of South Flower Street. The existing site access is by one two-way driveway at the south of the site. The City’s Master Plan of Streets and Highways classifies Flower Street as a collector street with a right-of-way width of 68 feet.

Existing Conditions

The site is developed with a vacant 4,862-sq. ft. office building, surface parking, front yard and perimeter landscaping, and trash enclosure.

Surrounding Land Uses and Zoning

To the west of the project site is St. John Maron Church and Grand Catered events, zoned Single-Family Residential (R-1-6). To the north of the project site are one-story single-family residences, zoned R-1-6. To the east and south are two-story multi-family residences zoned Multiple-Family Residential (R-3).

Previous Applications/Entitlements



6.                     PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant, Living Stone Methodist Church, is proposing to operate a church within an existing vacant building in the Office Professional zone district.  The church is moving from its previous location in the City of Stanton and is proposing to remodel an existing 4,862-sq. ft. building to accommodate a new sanctuary. The existing building previously served as the professional office of the Orange County Dental Society. Proposed hours of operation for the church will be on Sunday between 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Services will be held in the sanctuary on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Youth bible studies will occur 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and are only provided to the children of the adults attending the second main service. Fellowship service will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Seating capacity in the proposed sanctuary is limited to 80 fixed seats. Based on the applicant, the church expects 40-50 patrons per service. During services hymns and gospel music is played before and after the sermon, accompanied by piano and keyboard with amplifier. Musical accompaniment to services will be contained indoors. The applicant’s description of services is included in Attachment 3. During the weekdays, the Pastor and staff will be using the offices from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The church is proposing to remodel an existing 1,800-sq. ft. office area into the sanctuary, create a bible study room, ADA access, bathrooms and associated improvements. The remaining floor area will remain as offices. The proposed details of the improvement and the sanctuary are identified on the site plan and floor plans included as Attachment 4 of this report.

There are currently 46 parking spaces on-site.  The site currently provides the required number of parking spaces for the proposed use.  A more detailed discussion of parking is provided in the Analysis Section of this report.

A review of the development standards is not merited for this application, because no new square footage is being added to the building.

7.                     analysis and statement of the issues

Issue 1: Required Parking

OMC Table 17.34.060 requires 3 parking spaces/1,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area for office uses. The existing building gross floor area is 4,862-sq. ft., therefore, 15 parking stalls are required for the current use. The proposed church operation requires 1 space per 3 fixed seats, or 33 spaces per 1,000 square feet of assembly gross floor area, whichever is greater. The proposed sanctuary area’s floor plan identifies 80 total fixed seats within 1,270-sq. ft. assembly space. The total required parking spaces for assembly area is 42 spaces.  During church services, the existing office spaces will not be in use. There is a 30-minute timeframe between the two services for patrons to leave the property and others to enter and park. Generally, families carpool to services together where it is expected there will be available parking and accessible on-site circulation to existing parking spaces. The proposed church use parking requirement will be accommodated with the existing 46 on-site parking spaces.

Parking Table


Type of Use

Building/Assembly Gross SF

Parking Ratio

Parking Stalls












Existing On-site






Issue 2: Service Timeframes

Due to the 30-minute window between services, there may be an overlap of patrons leaving the site and entering to park.  According to the applicant, church attendance ranges from 40-50 people per service during Sunday morning services.  Church patrons are a mix of adults and families who generally carpool to church services. Should the period between services cause any impact to on-site circulation or interfere with vehicular spill-over on the street, Condition 18 will allow the applicant to adjust their service schedule for additional time between services if necessary.

8.                     public notice

On November 5, 2021, the City sent a Public Hearing Notice to 153 property owners/tenants within a 300-foot radius of the project site and persons specifically requesting notice.  The project site has been posted in one location with the notification on that same date. 

9.                     environmental review

Categorical Exemption:  The proposed project is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) per State CEQA Guidelines 15301 (Class 1 - Existing Facilities) because the project consists of permitting a church use within an existing commercial building, consistent with the property’s zoning and General Plan designation.  There is no public environmental review required.

10.                     ADVISORY BOARD ACTION

No review advisory reviews are applicable for this application.


11.                     ATTACHMENTS

                     Attachment 1 Draft Planning Commission Resolution No. 30-21

                     Attachment 2 Vicinity Map

                     Attachment 3 Applicant Project Description

                     Attachment 4 Site Photos

                     Attachment 5 Project Plans