FOUNTAIN VALLEY : Suit Over City Ruling on Church Is Settled

A resident who sued over a City Council decision to allow The First Chinese Baptist Church to move to a vacant school site has agreed to settle the suit, city officials said this week.

City Atty. Alan R. Burns said the terms of the settlement have been agreed upon by resident S. Alex Gilbert as well as church officials.

The council approved the settlement Tuesday in closed session.

Mayor John Collins called the settlement agreement “beneficial for all of the parties.”


“I’m glad it’s finished and it gives the church the ability to build on their land,” Collins said. “The final project will be a very positive addition to the community.”

Gilbert filed a lawsuit in early July following a ruling by the council June 7 to allow the church to operate at the former private school site, 16815 Brookhurst St.

Last year, the council had given the church permission for the project. Following that decision, Gilbert filed a lawsuit charging that the city violated environmental review procedures for the project.

But in January, the lawsuit was dismissed after church officials agreed to relinquish the city permit and reapply to the city to establish the congregation on the site. New environmental studies were also done.


The terms of the settlement included that the church agreed to record a document to prevent it from gaining access through the church property onto Mariposa Avenue for eight years. When the council approved the project in June, it had imposed a condition to prohibit access from the church onto Mariposa Avenue, which leads to a neighborhood.

In addition, the church agreed to post a “no left turn” sign at its parking lot to prohibit church traffic from turning left onto Brookhurst Street for a period of eight years.