Attorney: Eagle Brook Church To Sue Plymouth If Building Plan Not Approved
A law firm representing Eagle Brook Church has submitted a letter to the city of Plymouth threatening legal action unless its proposal to build a church gets approved.
Eagle Brook Church wants to construct a 64,000-square-foot campus on farmland in northwest Plymouth, west of Maple Grove Parkway and north of Chankahda Trail. The church currently holds services by leasing space at Wayzata High School. Eagle Brook has 10 other locations in the Twin Cities metro.
In a letter to the city, attorney Samuel Diehl for the Minneapolis law firm CrossCastle PLLC writes “there is no lawful basis to deny such permission. If the council chooses this regrettable course, Eagle Brook will pursue litigation.”
Diehl’s letter goes on to say, “To be clear, Eagle Brook does not desire litigation. It has been an active part of this community since it first began meeting at Wayzata High School in 2018.”
Building the campus has proven to be both challenging and controversial. Eagle Brook withdrew a similar plan in Minnetonka when residents circulated a petition against it. The Corcoran City Council also rejected plans for a large Eagle Brook campus in that city.
The city of Plymouth has received nearly 200 pages of email correspondence both for and against the project. Many neighbors who oppose have expressed concerns about traffic and other potential adverse effects on their neighborhood. That includes the building’s height, which is proposed to be 35 feet tall, which residents have stated is “completely out of character” for their neighborhood.
Plymouth City Council members sided with those concerns, voting 6-to-1 in December to reject the proposal. During the vote, council member Jim Willis said building a church on a 53-acre site would reduce the city’s ability to procure more affordable housing, one of the city’s goals in its comprehensive plan. A final vote is required for denial, which was on the Tuesday, Jan. 9, meeting agenda.
The Plymouth Planning Commission, meanwhile, did unanimously recommend approval. While the city council has the final say, the commission is leaned on for guidance. In this case, commission chair Michael Boo stating the church proposal would follow the city’s land-use guidelines.
“It is a permitted use,” said Boo at the commission’s Nov. 13 meeting. “It is not exhausting the availability of development on that parcel of property.”