Author Topic: [Google] Inglewood overturns denial of permit to Scientologists - Los Angeles Wave Newspapers  (Read 2289 times)

Offline News Thetan

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Inglewood overturns denial of permit to Scientologists - Los Angeles Wave Newspapers
18 November 2010, 2:40 am

Members and supporters of the Church of Scientology celebrated Tuesday night after the city council voted 4-0 to overturn a planning commission decision to deny them a permit to use a two-story property they own on Market Street as a church.

The 11-month battle over the special use permit (SUP), which has been the subject of several public hearings, came to a close when the council adopted a resolution overturning the Planning Commission denial and made appropriate findings for their decision.

In the public comment portion of the hearing, four residents spoke against the appeal while ten members of the audience, including Edie Reuveni and Eden Stein, the respective Los Angeles and Pasadena presidents of the Church of Scientology, spoke in favor.

Planning commission members considered the church’s application back in January, continued the matter in March and denied the request in April.

In a verbal background report to council, Christopher Jackson Sr., acting senior planner, explained that the commission cited four main reasons for rejecting the request: that the proposed church would negatively affect parking in the area; that the project would conflict with the city’s general plan to create a retail/entertainment hub downtown; that there was substantial public opposition; and incompatibility with the surrounding area.

However, in a letter of appeal, the church rejected all of the commission’s findings and cited federal law pertaining to the Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act that could not bar a religious building if the general requirements for a special use permit had been met.

Thus, at a subsequent June public hearing the council sought direction from City Attorney Cal Saunders and in July referred the matter back to the planning commission to re-consider the legal and parking implications.

However, in August the commission upheld their denial despite Saunders signaling his interpretation that federal law would trump local jurisdiction.

Thus, the church now has the go-ahead to convert its 45,000 square-foot basement commercial building located at 315 South Market Steet, a property it purchased two years ago — outbidding the city’s redevelopment agency — for about $5 million.

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« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 08:41 by mefree »
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Offline ethercat

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tl;dr: They threatened to file a RLUIPA suit, and the city council caved.   ::)

I am so proud of Sandy Springs for not caving in to essentially the same thing without a fight! 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 10:29 by ethercat »
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Offline mefree

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Yep. Scientology has to be the most litigious of all "religions".
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