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Churches and Zoning Law

A court ruled that a law prohibiting churches from meeting in commercial zones does not violate the Constitution.

• A federal district court in Minnesota ruled that a city's refusal to allow a church to operate in a commercial zone did not violate the church's constitutional rights. A city zoning ordinance permitted churches in residential zones, but not in commercial or industrial zones. A new church congregation began meeting in a pastor's home. As the congregation grew, it began meeting in a public school building, and then in a commercial building. Eventually, the city notified the church that use of the commercial building violated city zoning law. The church unsuccessfully sought to amend the zoning ordinance to permit churches in commercial zones, and then it sought to locate other sites for church services. The church was not able to find suitable accommodations in a residential zone, and continued to meet in the commercial building. When the city ordered the church to vacate the building, ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1991

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