City ‘abused its zoning power’
A worship service at Church of Our Savior in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The church has now been cleared by a court to build a bigger facility near the rented chapel pictured above.
A north Florida city twice denied a permit for a church to build on a main boulevard but the church took the city to court and prevailed at trial.
The city of Jacksonville Beach denied Church of Our Savior a conditional-use permit because city officials preferred that the church property be used for some other purpose and had zoned it accordingly. But the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida ruled Tuesday that federal law prevents the city from engaging in that type of discrimination.
The property, less than 2 acres, is located on a six-lane highway, Beach Boulevard, and sits adjacent to the parking lot for an amusement park on one side and a small neighborhood on another side. It is zoned for single-family residential use but other conditional uses have been allowed in the area by special permit.
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