Thursday, July 31, 2008

Choosing Booze or a Church

“The Planning and Zoning Commission of Yuma, Ariz., denied a use permit to a church because, in part, it worried them that the church would cost the city liquor license money. City staff informed the commission in a report that the church would not be ‘beneficial to overall economic health’ of the area, a condition necessary for granting a conditional use permit. Why not? The staff report cited worries about parking and about lessened tax revenue, but also warned that an Arizona statute forbidding liquor licenses within 300 feet of a church might prevent certain businesses from moving near the church’s proposed new location. The commission voted 5-0 to block it. Now attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund and the Center for Arizona Policy have initiated a lawsuit to ask a federal court to step in. ‘Churches should not be singled out for discrimination by
a city’s zoning restrictions,’ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel.” (WorldNetDaily. 5/31/08.)