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Neighbors in Plymouth concerned over possible 70,000 square foot church

Plymouth residents concerned over possible church construction
Plymouth residents concerned over possible church construction 02:12

PLYMOUTH, Minn. -- Families in a Twin Cities suburb say they're concerned about the possible construction of a church that's larger than a football field.

Eagle Brook Church tells WCCO it has a purchase agreement to build in northwest Plymouth, not far from homes.

Land just off Chankahda Trail, just north of Wayzata Meadow Ridge Elementary School and a stones-throw from dozens of homes, could soon be the home of a 70,000 square-foot church.         

Eagle Brook Church, headquartered in Centerville, Minnesota, has ten locations across the Twin Cities. They're looking to add Plymouth to the list.         

But a petition is looking to halt the plans. 

As of Friday, more than the petition "NO Eaglebrook Mega Church in Plymouth" has received more than 1,700 signatures.

Neighbors tell WCCO they're concerned the church will decrease green space, driving out wildlife. They're also worried about traffic. 

"I think for people, when there's anything new, especially the unknown, is difficult," said Mike Emmert, the pastor for the church's Wayzata location.

Emmert's congregation would move two miles from its current location at Wayzata High School.

"Our purpose as a church is to love God, love others and so we want to be a good neighbor, so we want to help people understand a little better who we are," said Emmert.         

Emmert said the church will have a 1,200-seat amphitheater and 700 spaces for parking.

"Working with the city of Plymouth, they'll be doing a comprehensive traffic study that we're helping to pay for," said Emmert.

The church has previously attempted to expand to other nearby cities. Emmert said the city council in Corcoran ultimately decided against adding Eagle Brook Church, and that plans in Minnetonka didn't allow for enough space.

"We believe we're empowered by God to reach people for Christ," said Emmert. 

This is all far from a done deal. Plymouth's Planning and Development Manager Chloe McGuire said the city still has yet to receive a formal application from Eagle Brook. The land would also need to be properly zoned for a church, McGuire said. 

Eagle Brook is having a community meeting at Wayzata High School on Wednesday, September 20th at 6:00 p.m.

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