North Raleigh United Methodist Church wants to expand, but according to watershed rules, the church cannot build on any more land.
Church leaders proposed a change in the city's rules. If the church is allowed to expand, it said it will preserve vacant land closer to Falls Lake.
"And of course, we're good citizens. We live in the watershed, every one of us. It's not that we want to do anything that would harm the watershed itself," church member James Irby said.
Environmental advocates are crying foul.
"What they're saying is that what they're proposing would be an improvement in terms of water quality. Well, it would be for their lot if that's the only thing you were approving. But this would open it up to everybody," said Bob Mulder of the WatershedProtection Council.
The Raleigh Planning Commission voted against changing the rules in favor of the church.
The City Council plans to take up the issue at its next meeting.
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