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Parents, community members protest plans to build a Costco store on Poway Unified land zoned for a middle school

Organizers are raising funds for a legal fight to stop a 153,362-square-foot warehouse from being built in the Torrey Highlands community of San Diego.

SAN DIEGO — Parents and community members rallied outside a Poway Unified School District Board Meeting Thursday, demanding that their voices and concerns be heard.

They're upset over a proposal to take land currently zoned for a new middle school and lease it to Costco for up to 60 years.

Residents say the plot of land at the corner of Carmel Valley Road and Camino Del Sur was gifted to PUSD by developers, with the intention that it would be future school site. 

They say they've asked to be part of the decision, but have ultimately have been left out. 

"For me, it's not just about not being apart of that process, but it felt like, even after knowing that we asked them, they didn't even pause to think about it," said Gianni Nguyen, an organizer of the Protect PUSDs Community Facebook Group. 

Community members are raising funds to begin a legal challenge, as it calls on PUSD to be transparent in their plans and consider the impact of this proposal on the neighborhood, including an increase in traffic and other safety concerns. Organizers tell News 8 they've raised approximately $60,000 so far. 

Plans and a rendering included in Costco's Proposal to Poway Unified School District show a 153,362 square foot Costco store, a gas station with the capacity to service 32 vehicles at one time, along with restaurants and retail shops. 

RELATED: Poway Unified wants a Costco store on school land

PUSD owns the land but wants to lease it to Costco for up to 60 years, starting at $2 million per year and eventually increasing to $4 million annually.

A Poway Unified School District previously issued this statement to News 8 about the project: 

“The District would still negotiate the terms of the lease, which the Board would need to approve. Then Costco would begin its community outreach about the project, through community meetings, surveys, studies, etc.  It's a lengthy process."

The site is located in a residential are that borders the gated Santaluz Golf Community, and sits less than a mile away from Westview High School in the San Diego community of Torrey Highlands.

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