Church of Scientology wants Gizmo building

KOB 4 News, New Mexico/October 6, 2008

Some neighbors are against it, but on Monday night, the Albuquerque City Council could vote to allow the Church of Scientology to move its regional headquarters into a building in the heart of downtown.

The church is hoping to turn the Gizmo building at Fourth Street and Central into its new location.

The church asked for a city zoning permit to move into the Gizmo space, but opponents say downtown Albuquerque isn't the right place for the church. They're afraid it would take away from plans to make downtown a cultural center for the arts, entrainment, and businesses.

The city planning department turned down the church's request for a special use permit. Now, the church is appealing the decision.

City council will decide Monday night if the ruling should be overturned, allowing the church to move forward with its downtown plans.

"What we can't do is make a decision based on whether or not we agree with the church of scientology or what they stand for, we have to look at land use issues, land use policies to see if the planning department made the right determination," said

The current Church of Scientology is located in a smaller building near San Pedro.

The church says the new building will serve a couple thousand members from El Paso to southern Colorado.

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