A five-acre property left vacant for more than a decade, an eyesore to its neighbors, may finally see improvement as a local church hopes to move in and make it their permanent home.
The final checkpoint between Orangecrest Community Church (OCC) and their hopeful, four-phase construction process is an approval from the Riverside Planning Commission today at 9 a.m. They are asking the city for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to utilize the space located on the corner of Alessandro Boulevard and Glenhaven Avenue, a residential area, as their potential campus.
OCC Senior Pastor Josh De La Rosa said he and members of the church have spent almost two and a half years preparing for when they might receive the space.
“We’ve worked on community engagement even before we closed escrow,” he said. “We explained who we are, what our plans are, and most people are ready to see that property updated.”
The church was established in 2007 by four founding families including his own. Ever since, the church has grown and maintained regular gatherings as guests of the Orange Terrace Community Center, setting up and then packing away all equipment and materials every Sunday.
“What this means for us is permanency,” he said. “We’ve been portable as a church all this time and we see permanency in a really central, visible location.”
We want to communicate to our neighbors that we’re here to stay long-term and be a long-standing community in our town,” he continued.
The multiphase plan includes layouts for three buildings, two of which exist but would need to be gutted because of damage due to lack of use. The third will be a main worship building, although not attainable for another couple of years according to the pastor.