Zoning, Churches And Discrimination

A lawsuit over the siting a church in a small town in Illinois cites racism and discrimination in land use.
August 20, 2003, 7am PDT | Connie Chung
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"A Korean Methodist congregation filed a $5 million federal lawsuit Monday against Long Grove over the village's refusal to approve construction of a church. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, seeks a court order that would allow Vision United Methodist Church to build on a 27-acre site it owns in Long Grove." While racism is alleged by the church, the Village President insists that "the dispute has nothing to do with race or religion" and that the church's proposal "was rejected because of the impact it would have on residents and questions about the project's feasibility." However, "the church contends it is being discriminated against because the village is treating it differently from other churches in the community....Also, the suit states, Long Grove's zoning ordinances allow 'restaurants, tearooms, taverns and health clubs' in certain zones but not churches....It also cites the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, prohibiting municipalities from restricting religious freedom without a compelling government interest...."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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