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Scientologists plan to restore house

Title: Scientologists plan to restore house
Date: Thursday, 27 August 2009
Publisher: Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA)
Author: Michelle Mitchell
Main source:

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Representatives from the Church of Scientology have discussed tentative plans for the La Quinta property it recently purchased, but nothing has been finalized.

“They have yet to submit any permits to us,” said Les Johnson, director of planning for La Quinta. “We have outlined to them what they need to do.”

The Church of Spiritual Technology, an affiliate of the Church of Scientology, purchased the 2-acre Hacienda Serena in a multi-million dollar deal in December. The 3,450-square-foot adobe home at 49-875 Avenida Obrigon was owned by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in the 1970s.

The church's plans for the home have not been finalized, but leaders are “going to restore it and I'm sure there'll be tours once it's done,” said Catherine Fraser, director of public affairs with Golden Era Productions, a production company that provides audio/visual products for the church.

Preliminary plans discussed with the city would include small group tours or meetings, Johnson said.

It will not be used as a church, Fraser said.

The property is zoned for low-density residential and the church would likely require a conditional use permit, though that could change if the church's plans change, Johnson said.

The project is still in the research and design phase so there is no more information available on a specific timeline, Fraser said.

“We're opening churches all over the world,” Fraser said. “You have to take each thing in turn.”

Hubbard wrote many of his science fiction novels and screenplays and worked on religious instructional films at Hacienda Serena before outgrowing it and moving to unincorporated Riverside County in 1979. He created Golden Era Productions on a 500-acre facility off Gilman Springs Road that is still operating today.