PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Families in a Twin Cities suburb say they are concerned about the possible construction of a church 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 the Chankahda Trail, just north of Wayzata Meadow Ridge Elementary School and steps from dozens of homes, could soon be home to a 70,000-square-foot church.
Eagle Brook Church, headquartered in Centerville, Minnesota, has ten locations throughout the Twin Cities. They want to add Plymouth to the list.
But a Change.org petition wants to stop the plans.
As of Friday, the “NO Eaglebrook Mega Church in Plymouth” petition has received more than 1,700 signatures.
Neighbors tell WCCO they are concerned the church will reduce green space and drive away wildlife. They are also concerned about traffic.
“I think it’s hard for people when there’s something new, especially the unknown,” said Mike Emmert, pastor of the church’s Wayzata location.
Emmert’s community 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,” Emmert said.
Emmert said the church will have a 1,200-seat amphitheater and 700 parking spaces.
“Working with the city of Plymouth, they will be conducting a comprehensive traffic study that we will help pay for,” Emmert said.
The church has previously tried to expand to other nearby cities. Emmert said the Corcoran City Council ultimately decided not to add Eagle Brook Church, and that plans in Minnetonka did not provide enough space.
“We believe we are empowered by God to reach people for Christ,” Emmert said.
This is all far from a done deal. Chloe McGuire, Plymouth’s planning and development manager, said the city still has not received a formal application from Eagle Brook. The land should also be properly zoned for a church, McGuire said.
Eagle Brook will hold a community meeting at Wayzata High School on Wednesday, September 20 at 6 p.m