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Golden Gate Estates neighborhood against church relocation because of traffic

Grace Romanian Baptist Church wants to move down the street from it’s current location in Golden Gate Estates. But residents in the area are heavily against it, stating church traffic will make the roads more dangerous.

“I would prefer that it would not be here,” said neighbor Deeatra Keefer said.

Many say a big congregation means there will be a big congestion.

“If you put anything there other a home, you’re just going to have more and more traffic,” said neighbor David Keefer.

Neighbors are praying a church doesn’t get approved to go up on their quiet corner.

“Nothing against a church, nothing against the church,” said neighbor Lauren Osborne. “You’ve got weddings, you’ve got funerals, traffic. You’ve got nowhere to go.”

Grace Romanian Baptist Church owns the six-are lot at the corner of Golden Gate Boulevard W and Collier Boulevard. But the permit process is putting a pause on the church’s praise. The church needs it rezoned from residential to commercial in order to build.

“Around 30 percent of our parishioners live in Golden Gate Estates, so they’ll just come drive further down,” said pastor at Grace Romanian Baptist Church Cristian Petrisor.

The church is currently down the road. Petrisor says traffic won’e be an issue with the 100 or so congregation, although the proposed church could fit 300 people.

“I don’t think these churches will grow because there’s no more emigration from Romania toward United States,” Petrisor said.

But neighbors say the street is busy enough.

“We already have Monday through Friday, we have the school traffic,” Osborne said. “Commuter traffic in the morning, the evening.”

The Collier County Transportation unit looked into this, and says it won’t have a big impact on traffic.

The public hearing on the church relocation is tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Board of Commissioners room.

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