SAN DIEGO — Nearly five years after a controversial plan to build a new church in the Del Cerro community of San Diego was proposed, a local community planning group unanimously voted against recommending the project’s approval.

Discussion of a new All Peoples Church location kicked off Monday’s meeting of the local Navajo Community Planning Group, including a presentation of details relating to infrastructure improvements like a new sidewalk, traffic signal and a bike path.

However, residents during the meeting criticized the presented renderings of what the area could look like for being “not to scale.”

“Let’s not have people come outside of the neighborhood and tell us what our neighborhood should look like,” said Del Cerro resident, Lisa Stein.

All Peoples Church’s “The Light Project” would sit on nearly six acres off College Avenue and the Interstate 8, with enough room for a 900-seat sanctuary, 12 classrooms and more than 350 parking spots.

“I think it has great potential for connection for strengthening a community as well,” a man from San Carlos said during the meeting.

While there were a few people at the meeting speaking in support of the project, the overwhelming majority of people in the packed room represented Del Cerro and the surrounding communities, who have been consistently opposed to it.

Some of the biggest concerns they have raised include traffic congestion and the land currently being zoned for housing.

“It’s residentially zoned. It was previously approved by the city council for 24 homes, which is our preference,” said resident, Michael Livingston.

“The different churches that are right around (the proposed construction site) are actually on the same type of land, they’re zoned the same thing,” All Peoples Church Pastor Robert Herber countered.

FOX 5 asked Herber to comment about the opposition and what he believes some of the positive impacts of the church might be.

“It’s always sad when people resist a church,” Herber said. He added that they’re hoping residents will come around to the project “as we continue to show that we’ve done our due diligence, that there are no significant impacts, that we offer numerous services, we’ll bring a tremendous economic advantage as our people will patronize different establishments around it. We think it’s going to be a blessing all around.”

The Navajo Community Planning Group’s vote against recommending the project may hold some weight as the project moves on to the San Diego Planning Commission in late September. Then, the project will eventually go before San Diego City Council for a final vote.