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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

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


§ 5.02.01
Key point 5-02.01. Local zoning laws generally allow "churches" in residential areas. The courts have struggled with the application of this term to various activities and organizations other than traditional congregations meeting in a building for regular worship services.

Many other courts have been asked to decide whether various uses of church-owned property constitute a church under municipal zoning laws. The following uses have been found to be "churches":

  • use of a home across the street from a church for women's fellowship meetings and religious education classes;[89] Twin-City Bible Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 365 N.E.2d 1381 (Ill. 1977).
  • a single-family residence used by the United Presbyterian Church as a religious coffeehouse for university students;[90] Synod of Chesapeake, Inc. v. Newark, 254 A.2d 611 (Del. 1969).
  • a priest's home, convent, and parochial school;[91] Board of Zoning Appeals v. Wheaton, 76 N.E.2d 597 (Ind. 1948).

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