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Religious group begs city to reconsider zoning law

Must church be allowed to operate in industrial area?

The Petra Presbyterian Church bought a building to relocate its church. But the property is in the middle of an industrial zone that does not permit churches. Petra is a predominantly Korean congregation. It currently conducts its worship services, and other church-related functions such as weddings and baptisms, in space rented from a nearby Lutheran church. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. In 2000, Petra attempted to buy an existing office building for $2.9 million in an industrial zone that permitted membership organizations, such as union halls, chambers of commerce, and other groups. But the zoning specifically excluded religious organizations. Petra applied for rezoning to "institutional buildings," but the local planning commission recommended against rezoning and the city council agreed. Petra then cancelled its purchase contract, which was contingent upon rezoning. The church then purchased the same property without a rezoning contingency for $300,000 less. Petra then sued...

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