Hillcrest locals concerned about proposed Christian theme park

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego has another decision to make over in Mission Valley, but it’s been a bit overshadowed by all the fuss over the stadium.

It’s Televangelist Morris Cerullo’s plan for a Christian theme park in Mission Valley.

He’s 84-years-old and he’s the founder of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism.

Pentecostal Preacher Morris Ceruollo lives in San Diego, his headquarters is here and while he doesn’t get a lot of press coverage locally, his ministry has gotten plenty of attention world-wide from his message that God wants people to be wealthy, to his claims of healing people during his many foreign crusades.

Now, Cerullo is proposing that the longtime Mission Valley resort hotel and complex to be torn down, replaced by a multi-million dollar Christian theme park called Legacy International Center.

Eighteen acres of mixed-use development, including 127 time share suites, retail space, along with religious attractions.

The sheer size of the center is now drawing criticism from, among others, UCSD and the Hillcrest Town Council.

On the 15th of January, UCSD wrote a letter to the city’s Environmental Planner Jeffrey Szymanski.

It starts with the university only recently being made aware of the project, but the bulk of it involves what UCSD said is the project’s significant and unmitigated traffic impacts.

UCSD Medical Center may be in Hillcrest on a hill overlooking the proposed center, but an important access road up the hill from Mission Valley to the hospital complex is Bachman Place, access that UCSD said includes emergency vehicles.

Cerullo’s anti-gay preaching is also part of the criticism coming from the Hillcrest community, but again most of the recent negativity concerns traffic and the impact of such a project on the environment.

A Cerullo spokesperson told KPBS that the project would be a wonderful addition to San Diego and a destination for visitors from all over the world.

As for a current time table for approval, early next month, February 3, Cerullo’s representatives meet with the Mission Valley Planning Group.

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