Friday, June 30, 2017

Church Sues Over Zoning Ruling On Use of Building For Christian School

A suit was filed this week in a Virginia federal district court challenging Spotsylvania County officials' contention that a Baptist church must obtain a special use permit in order for the education wing of the church to house an independent Christian high school whose mission is to provide classical education rooted in the tradition of Catholic teaching. The church says the school is one of its ministries and does not require further zoning approval. The complaint (full text) in Zoan Baptist Church v. Spotsylvania County, (ED VA, filed 6/28/2017) alleges that the county ordinance and the way it has been enforced infringes the church's rights under RLUIPA, as well as under the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses. Plaintiffs have also filed a Brief in Support of their motion for equitable relief. (Full text of brief).