Frequently Asked Questions – Church Building Campaign

The following are common questions concerning our church building opportunity and related capital campaign. If you have other questions that are not addressed here, please contact us.

Property

What is the address and assessor’s parcel number (APN) of the property?

The address is 1445 Technology Lane, Unit A-1, Petaluma, CA 94954. The APN is 005-360-001.

When was the property built?

The property was built in 2009.

What kind of construction is the building?

It is a two story commercial condominium with concrete tilt up construction and a poured concrete second floor.

What do we know about the complex?

The property is a unit in the Technology Lane Business Center Condominiums. There are 2 buildings in the complex with a total of 20 units between them. The association appears to have well maintained the complex.

What are the monthly association fees and what do they include?

The current association fee is $835 per month. The fees cover water and garbage as well as maintenance of the common areas including landscaping and the parking lot, and various structural and/or external portions of the building such as the roof, perimeter walls, load bearing walls, etc.

Is there sufficient assembly space?

While the maximum occupancy levels are ultimately something determined through the Conditional Use Permit application process, we believe there is ample room for at least 100 people seated comfortably.

What office and classroom space is there?

In the upstairs there is room for an office and up two classrooms without any changes to the current layout configuration. In the future, the configuration could be changed via partitions to increase the total number of classrooms, if the church so desired.

Is there a kitchen?

There is not currently a full kitchen, though there are two existing kitchenettes. A kitchen on the first floor is part of the plans for the initial renovations.

What outdoor space is available?

There are open space trails immediately adjacent to the complex which also include some picnic tables and a path to the nearby Shollenberger Park. The exterior of the unit also includes wide overhangs over a walkway and some benches which would give some space for fellowship outside.

Is there sufficient parking?

While ultimately this is a question the City of Petaluma will have to determine in the Conditional Use Permit application process, the complex itself has ample parking in the form of 140 spaces. The church’s peak usage, typically weekends and evenings, would fall outside the normal usage times of the other commercial units in the complex, and so the large amount of parking available is a great feature of this location.

Location

How will a move to Petaluma impact the church?

While the church initially began as a church plant in 1970 with two families from Novato, over the years it has grown to be a commuter church serving the entire north bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Our membership has consistently drawn people from the counties of Marin, Sonoma, Solano, and Napa, as the only Orthodox Presbyterian Church in this north bay region.

Prior to our recent renewed efforts at a building search, we conducted a survey of the congregation over what geographical areas they could support for a church home. The results showed very strong support for a location in either Novato or Petaluma.

The current location is the last major north exit in Novato. This proposed new location is the first major south exit in Petaluma. This places the new site just 9 miles further north along Highway 101, with both locations just a few minutes off the freeway. While for some members this will reduce their commute time and for others it will extend it, we are thankful that it is not a larger geographical change. We do recognize the additional burden for those members whose commute times will be increased and are very thankful for their continued support of the church’s ministry.

Is the location freeway accessible?

Yes, it is less than half a mile east off Highway 101. It is also conveniently accessible from Highway 37 through the Lakeville Highway exit.

What else is nearby the property?

There is retail, residential, and recreational locations all nearby in walking distance. The site borders a creek with an open space trail leading to the nearby Shollenberger Park. The development is a two minute walk from the Adobe Creek and the Lakeville Square retail centers. It is also adjacent to the Azure Apartment Homes.

What proximity would this place the church to other churches of like faith and practice?

The church is a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church which belongs to the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC). The nearest NAPARC congregations to this proposed new location are approximately 20 miles to the north in Santa Rosa and 26 miles to the south in Kentfield.

Zoning

What is the zoning?

The property falls under the Zoning District of the Lakeville Business Park Planned Development (PD-LK). Under this zoning, a church use is permitted conditionally. This means that a Conditional Use Permit must be applied for and received by the City of Petaluma in order for a church to conduct religious services there.

What is involved in applying for a Conditional Use Permit?

The City of Petaluma has communicated to us that our use in this zoning district will require a Major Conditional Use Permit which they estimate the process to require approximately 6 months upon receipt of an application. For more information about the process, see the city web site at: https://cityofpetaluma.org/conditional-use-permit/

What is the likelihood of receiving the Conditional Use Permit

While it is not possible to predict the outcome of the Conditional Use Permit application process, we have involved a Civil Engineer and Architect to advise us on the feasibility of the project and to assist us in working through the process with the City. Based on initial findings, we are very hopeful for a favorable outcome and will provide updates as we continue to progress through the process.

Renovations

Are there any major repairs needed to the property?

There are no known major repairs required for the property. As part of our initial contingency period we have had a professional property inspection performed and that report is available upon request.

What construction is planned?

The plan for the first floor is to remove the two walls forming the existing conference room in order to open up the space into one large multipurpose space with a flexible room setup. This enlarged space on the first floor would serve as the main sanctuary with an assembly seating capacity of up to 100 people and could be easily re-arranged into a banquet style setup to facilitate fellowship meals. A small stage would also be constructed. Additionally, alongside the north side of the unit an additional bathroom and small enclosed kitchen would be added. No changes are planned currently for the second floor.

We would also install new carpeting on the first floor and paint the interior walls throughout the building. Some minor electrical and A/V work is also anticipated along with installing some additional lighting.

It is also noted that the Conditional Use Permit application process might uncover additional renovation requirements to comply with local code. Any such findings will need to be addressed as discovered and could result in changes to the final budget and timeline.

What new furnishings are anticipated?

We plan to acquire a pulpit, communion table, chairs, folding tables, refrigerator, and microwave. We also intend to purchase some basic sound equipment to have a built-in sound system. Building signage would also be acquired.

Fundraising

What is the project budget?

The total project expenses are estimated at $913,750. That includes $814,000 for the purchase price, $23,000 in closing costs and other purchase fees, $8,000 in City Permit and Fees, $14,500 in professional services, $40,000 in renovations, and $14,250 in furnishings.

How much have you already raised?

As of going into contract, we have approximately $700,000 in our building fund and an additional $25,000 designated from the Presbytery’s 49er Fund which represents approximately 79% of the total needed out of the estimated project budget of $913,750.

What happens if we don’t raise enough funds before the close of escrow?

The church is applying for a loan through the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Loan Fund for the remainder of the proceeds we will likely still need after the capital campaign. We anticipate receiving loan approval within sixty days of our going into contract with the seller.

What happens to the funds raised if the project doesn’t go through?

If the property purchase is not able to be successfully completed, either due to the Conditional Use Permit not being granted by the City of Petaluma, or for any other reason, then the funds raised through this capital campaign will be retained in our building fund and reserved for the purchase of a different building in the future.

Can I make a pledge for a donation contingent on closing on the sale of the property?

Yes! In order to make a pledge, please contact us.

Can I make an in-kind donation?

If you would like to make an in-kind donation, please contact us.

Can I make a donation of stock or other securities?

If you would like to make a donation of securities, including stock, bonds, and mutual funds, please contact us.

Are there other ways to help?

Yes, you can consider making an investment in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Loan Fund (OPCLF). The OPCLF offers fixed interest-rate notes in various maturity terms. These investments enable the OPCLF to loan out funds to churches in our denomination for purchasing a building. Contact Mark A. Stumpff, Loan Fund Manager, to request its latest Offering Circular. You can contact him by email at [email protected] or via phone at (215) 830-0900. (Note: the OPCLF is only able to offer its investments to residents of certain states.)