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Church Wins Zoning Dispute

Zoning commission had denied special permit for church building in a residential area.

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Key point: The possibility of increased traffic congestion may not be a sufficient basis to deny a church a special use permit to construct a sanctuary on church-owned land.

• A Connecticut court ruled that a local zoning commission acted improperly in denying a church a special permit to construct a sanctuary in a residential zone. A 500-member nondenominational church with no building of its own met in a local public high school for its weekly services and activities. The church purchased a 13-acre tract of undeveloped land in a residential zone, and then applied to the city for a special permit to construct a church building. Most of the land in the town was zoned residential, and churches were not a permitted use in residential zones without a special permit. Neighboring landowners opposed the church's permit request, and extensive public hearings were conducted to determine ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1993

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