The crosses at Inspirational Point in Julian were removed Tuesday morning around 4 a.m. by the California Department of Transportation.
Caltrans received complaints from drivers earlier this summer that the crosses were erected without permit on state-owned property adjacent to State Route 79, east of Julian. The crosses are currently in storage, but Caltrans has plans to relocate them within the next 30 days to Hillside Community Church, where Pastor Rick Hill volunteered to host the three replicas.
But Dorri Smith, a Julian resident, hopes to see the crosses back at Inspirational Point as she believes the removal was unconstitutional. She is seeking assistance from the American Center for Law and Justice, which defends freedom of religion cases, in order to bring the crosses back to their original spot.
“We were disappointed in the way it was done… under the cover of darkness,” Smith said. “It’s not something we should just go and taken down just because some people are offended.”
A Caltrans spokesperson did not wish to comment about any potential legal action. The organization has been in contact with the community, including the Julian Chamber of Commerce, throughout the removal process.
Julian residents will meet at the site tonight at 5 p.m. to discuss the possibility of bringing the crosses back.
“People of Julian have been rallying behind us,” Smith said. “We’re hoping the crosses can go right back up again.”