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Del Cerro residents say proposed mega-church will bring traffic, congestion, and other negative impacts

All People's Church released the formal plans to build a 55,000-square-foot church, parking garage, and erect a 53-foot cross in the community.

SAN DIEGO — A long-fought battle over plans to build a megachurch in San Diego's Del Cerro community has resurfaced after the church released its official proposal. 

On August 31, representatives from All Peoples' Church outlined its plans in a required environmental report to the state. Those plans include building a 54,476-square-foot church, a 71,010-square-foot parking garage, classrooms, large meeting rooms, and an all-purpose gym on the six acres of vacant land off Interstate 8 at College Avenue.

The plot of land is currently zoned as Single Family residential.

Over two years ago, dozens of Del Cerro residents banded together and formed Save Del Cerro to fight against the proposed megachurch.

Barbara Blakeley, resident and a realtor in Del Cerro says the proposal will change the face of her community.

"Many people moved here because of the type of community it is, a bedroom community. This megaproject will alter our community in ways that are unfathomable," Blakeley told CBS 8. "There are hundreds of people here that are opposed to this. Unfortunately, most people I talk to think they don't have a say over this project but I am here to tell them that they do."

Blakeley says she is not against development on the site and says the city and Del Cerro need more housing, not a massive mega-church on a plot of land that had previously been approved for a 24-home development.

"We need housing in San Diego. We don't need a mega-church the size and the scope of this," said Blakeley. "We don't have the infrastructure to support it."

Another issue for Blakeley and the Save Del Cerro group is the traffic impacts the church is expected to have. 

According to the Environmental Impact Report, the church will only generate 280 additional vehicle trips during the weekdays and 1,976 vehicle trips on Sundays.

But Blakeley says that number has been underestimated.

"They want to put a massive structure in a space that can't support it, on roads that can't support it, with traffic lights that can't support it. All of it will have a direct impact on us, the residents of Del Cerro."

The proposal will now make its way through the city of San Diego's planning department before moving to the planning commission for approval.

Neither the city nor All Peoples Church responded to CBS 8's request for comment. The story will be updated if and when they do.

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