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Giant Christian theme park proposed just five miles from Hillcrest

A Christian televangelist wants to build a religious theme park at the entrance of Mission Valley, and it has UCSD and The Hillcrest Town Council concerned.

At their meeting on Tuesday, January 12, the Council agreed to send a letter of opposition to the Mission Valley Planning Group (MVPG).

The proposed theme park called Legacy International Center would replace the Mission Valley Resort Hotel with 18 acres of mixed-use development, 127 time shares, retail space and several religious attractions including a full-scale replica of the 187-foot Wailing Wall, and other interactive Bible-themed rides.

Pentecostal preacher Norris Cerulllo, 84, founder of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism is the person behind the project and currently owns the Mission Valley Resort Hotel which he bought in 2011 for $18 million. He would like to raze that property in order to build the enormous project.

UCSD had only recently heard of the proposal and drafted a letter to MVPG, cautioning them about the negative impact building such a massive complex would have on local traffic and emergency vehicle access routes.

If approved, the religious compound would overpower space at the bottom of Bachman Place, a major throughway to hospitals and medical facilities located in Hillcrest.

Although UCSD’s location is five minutes away from the proposed building site they fear that disruption of such a major access road to their medical facilities could be dangerous.

Cerullo’s ministries are strong opponents of LGBT and its proximity to San Diego’s primarily gay and lesbian neighborhood has some locals worried. On Friday the Hillcrest Town Council were in agreement to address their opposition by writing a letter to MVPG.

Upon the approval of the City Council; a meeting is scheduled for February 3, the groundbreaking could start as early as this year.

[Correction: The Hillcrest Town Council's meeting was held on Jan. 12 not Jan. 31 as originally reported. This article has been changed to reflect that.]

Timothy Rawles is Community Editor of SDGLN. He can be reached at editor@sdgln.com, @reporter66 on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.