A RLUIPA challenge to the zoning laws of the city of Kelso, Washington was filed Friday in federal district court in Washington by the Victory Center which welcomes young people and the needy for fellowship, meals, worship and classes. The Center is affiliated with the Kelso Church of Truth and Mountain Ministries. The Kelso city code limits a four block downtown area to pedestrian-related uses. Victory Center moved in last spring and put a $15,000 deposit toward purchase of the building. The Victory Center defines itself as a cultural and educational center, which is a permitted use in the area. However, as reported by the Longview (WA) Daily News (11/9), a hearing examiner last week ruled that it is instead a "community center" which is not permitted. In the lawsuit filed Friday, Victory Center charges that the city's community development director wrongly applied the zoning law based on his personal opinion and religious prejudice. (Longview Daily News 11/15).