Mayor Jerry Sanders has decided not to suspend a city permit to a popular Point Loma church.
The city's grand jury recommended suspending the Rock Church's conditional use permit in an earlier report.
The 3,500-seat church is located at Liberty Station in Point Loma and operates five church services each Sunday. More than 15,000 people attend the services, according to the church's website.
The jury wrote that the permit was granted to the church because it would also serve as an educational facility. The grand jury said the area wasn't being used as an educational area. Additionally, the use of the space for church services caused major traffic congestion.
The traffic problems are "directly related to a church not being compatible for the Liberty Station area," the grand jury wrote.
Sanders corrected and clarified several points from the report.
First, he said, the Rock Church and the connected Rock Academy use the building for educational purposes, as directed by Liberty Station's "Precise Plan," a policy document used to guide redevelopment of the area.
Second, Sanders disagreed with the finding that the traffic renders the church incompatible with Liberty Station. He said the city was aware of these traffic impacts when they granted the permit.
He also wrote, "redevelopment action" would likely do more harm than good -- it could result in economic, legal, social, technological effects.
Sanders ultimately decided not to suspend the permit because he said it would be unreasonable. No further comments were made.
In response, Mark Stevens, COO from the Rock Church said they were pleased but not surprised at the decision.
"The Rock Church has consistently endeavored to be a good neighbor to Liberty Station residents and businesses," Stevens said.
"We have increased the number of traffic controllers, and posted 'No Rock Church Parking' signs on adjacent residential streets and parking lots. We also have added security staff and a tow truck to one major lot to make sure churchgoers park in assigned areas only."
Many residents have complained that the church attendees violate the parking restrictions in the area, according to the San Diego Community Newspaper Group.