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• A federal appeals court ruled that a municipal zoning ordinance prohibiting churches in single-family residential areas without a conditional use permit did not violate the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom. The San Francisco City Code prohibits churches in residential districts unless a conditional use permit is granted. Before granting a permit, the city must determine that the proposed use is necessary, and compatible with the neighborhood, and will not be detrimental to the health, safety, convenience or general welfare of persons residing in the vicinity. A church desiring to establish a church in a single-family residence applied to the city for a permit. A group of 190 neighboring residents signed a petition in opposition to the permit, based on the following considerations: (1) there already are too many churches in the neighborhood; (2) the church would not maintain ...

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  • September 3, 1990