The plans were approved on Dec. 1 of last year.

The plans were approved on Dec. 1 of last year. (KTLA.com)

TEMECULA (KTLA) -- The Temecula City Council has voted to allow some 150 families to move ahead with plans to build a mosque in the city despite months of strong opposition from residents.

Hundreds of residents descended on the Temecula Civic Center Tuesday night to attend the City Council's hearing on an appeal of the Temecula mosque plan.

Many left as the meeting dragged on for about nine hours.

The council voted 4-0 to approve the project, ending the meeting around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The mosque plans were initially approved on Dec. 1 of last year following a five-hour-long hearing.

The approval was met by stark opposition.

Residents who opposed the project formed a group called the Concerned American Citizens and made their feelings known at several public meetings and protests.

They say the 25,000-square-foot, two-story mosque could bring extremist activity and traffic woes to the area.

Residents who support the project say the anti-mosque group does not represent the majority of the people in the Temecula Valley.

They believe the project should move forward, citing the protections and rights afforded religions under both the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.

The Islamic Center was formed in 1998, and its members have been worshiping in a warehouse for a decade.