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Church Halloween event inconveniences neighbors

Posted: November 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Regarding “Halloween church event draws 13,000,” The Signal Oct. 27: Real Life Church, which claims to “really care about the community,” continues to infringe upon that same community — at least the neighborhoods that are immediately adjacent to it.

This multi-thousand-member church should be renamed the “Ecclesiastical Convention Center” when it hosts massive events of this size.

Even on normal Sundays, the overflow from this mega-church at the Bridgeport Marketplace spills into the surrounding parking areas that service other shops in the marketplace.

The church can take up so many parking spaces that some local businesses have had to put up signs saying “No Church Parking” to ensure that their own customers can find a place to park. And even this does not always work.
But the Halloween celebration event, which “has grown exponentially over thelast three years to the largest Halloween production in the valley,” as the story says, is the last straw. 

In spite of the more than 300 volunteers it took just to run this event, parking readily overflowed into the surrounding neighborhoods.

True, all those volunteers did hand out cards showing off-site parking locations at the Westfield Valencia Town Center, but there was no requirement to park there.

Why drive all the way down there and take a bus back when you can just park down the street? And park down the streets they did. 

A church member was quoted as saying, “this year there were no traffic issues, and the parking was awesome.” Not if you lived on the streets around this event, where you would be lucky to find a parking space in front of your own house; where cars wedged you in so you couldn’t even move your own car; and where there were continuing streams of people coming and going well into the evening.

Someone needs to own up to the fact that it is not a good idea to be hosting 13,000-person events in a residential neighborhood.

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that the Santa Clarita City Council typically favors business and tax revenues over residential inconveniences such as loud noise and overflow parking in local neighborhoods.
But this church is just too big and will only get bigger until it completely dominates the entire eastern half of the marketplace.

It is probably too late to move the Real Life Church itself, but it is not too late to move its events.


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