According to published reports, the 4,000-member CottonwoodChristian Center has purchased land in the redevelopment area forthe construction of a new worship center, youth center, bookstore,coffee shop, bookstore, conference rooms and a licensed pre-school.Members of the church, led by Pastor Bayless Conley, held a prayergathering on the 18-acre site Sunday, hoping to convince the CityCouncil to allow them to build.

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However, Cypress mayor Anna Piercy says she told church memberswhen they purchased the property that there would be no guaranteethey would be granted a building permit.

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As reported by GlobeSt.com on November 3, the City Counciladopted an urgency ordinance on October 30 placing a 45-daymoratorium freezing all development around the redevelopment areato give city staff time to study a proposed change in the land useof the property, from professional office buildings to retail spaceand a restaurant row. The proposed development, called Town Center,and would be similar to such developments as The Block, the IrvineMarketplace and the Aliso Viejo Town Center. Such a change wouldrequire an amendment to the city's Specific Plan and also wouldrequire putting the proposed amendment to a vote of the citizenryas mandated under Measure D, which was passed in 1987.

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Church officials are contending that building a church on thesite would bring people from outside the city to eat at localrestaurants and would help to reduce crime and get homeless peopleoff of city streets.

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City officials told GlobeSt.com that going through the entirespecific plan amendment process could take anywhere from six monthsto a year, and the moratorium could be extended for an additional10 months if necessary.

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