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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Accessory Uses

Volume 2 . Chapter 5 . § 5-03.2
Key point 5-02.2. Local zoning laws generally allow "churches" in residential areas. The courts generally have extended this term to various "accessory uses" that are needed for a church to carry out its mission and purposes.

Many zoning laws permit uses that are "accessory" to a permitted use. As one court has observed:

A church is more than merely an edifice affording people the opportunity to worship God. Strictly religious uses and activities are more than prayer and sacrifice and all churches recognize that the area of their responsibility is broader than leading the congregation in prayer. Churches have always developed social groups for adults and youth where the fellowship of the congregation is strengthened with the result that the parent ...

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