Frederick County Denies Proposed "Mega Church"

Church insisted building would be a great use of unused land

By Michael Flynn
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 9:45 PM EDT
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Maryland Church Fights to Build Big in Frederick County

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Maryland Church Fights to Build Big in Frederick County

Global Mission Church in Silver Spring wants to move but residents near the proposed site are putting up a fight against what they call a 'mega church'.
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Unhappy residents in Frederick and Montgomery counties won the latest battle in the fight against a proposed church that would be the size of a Walmart or a Target.

The Global Mission Church sits off Georgia avenue in Silver Spring right now but wants to move to a 130-acre site near Sugarloaf Mountain, right off I-270 at the Frederick-Montgomery County line.  Roads that would access the church are in Montgomery County.

The church building would be about 138,000 square feet and include a basketball court and dining hall.  It would sit on about two acres of property.

The Frederick County Planning Commission took up the controversial application Wednesday.  Some residents who live near the proposed site were there, complaining about traffic and the potential environmental impact.

Church leaders insist they've done years of studies about the project and feel certain a new church there would only benefit the area. They say the building is  designed to accommodate just more than 2,000 worshipers, not the 6,000-plus that a county study recently determined.

The planning commission denied the church's proposal Wednesday night in a 6-to-1 vote. 

A spokesperson for the church told News4 they feel their religious rights have been violated by that decision. They plan to pray about what to do next, which could include either appealing the decision or pursuing legal action.

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