Oregon Court Affirms City's Denial of LDS Church Building Plans

March 25, 2004

Source: First Amendment Center


On March 25, 2004 the First Amendment Center website posted an Associated Press article that reported, "The city of West Linn's denial of a church's plan to build a meeting place in a residential zone is consistent with federal land-use laws, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled yesterday. The opinion reversed the state Land Use Board of Appeals. The appeals board had decided that the city's rejection of the proposal by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hampered the church's constitutional rights to religious freedom, in violation of a federal law passed in 2000. Portland lawyer Frank Hunsaker, who represents the church, said the ruling apparently was the first by an Oregon appellate court involving the new federal law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, or RLUIPA. Hunsaker said he hadn't yet talked with his client and had no immediate comment on whether the decision might be appealed to the state Supreme Court."