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Zoning and Free Speech

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Key point 7-08. Most cities have enacted building codes that prescribe minimum standards in the construction of buildings. The courts have ruled that these laws may be applied to churches so long as they are reasonably related to the promotion of public health and safety.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a city ordinance containing strict limitations on the display of signs by churches and some other charities constituted a content-based restriction on speech in violation of the First Amendment's free speech clause. The town of Gilbert, Arizona (or Town), adopted a comprehensive "Sign Code" governing the manner in which people may display outdoor signs. The Sign Code prohibits the display of outdoor signs anywhere within the Town without a permit, but it then exempts 23 categories of signs from that requirement. This includes any "Temporary Sign intended to direct pedestrians, ...

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Posted:
  • August 19, 2015

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