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Old 12-27-2009, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
29,750 posts, read 26,780,300 times
Reputation: 78992

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Separation of Church and State is common knowledge and everyone agrees until they are part of the issue.

Over the years the neighborhood residents have followed the city zoning codes and laws for years once it was annexed by the city. Now they have a problem with the city council that who changed the zoning code for the one owner of a parcel of property within the neighborhood. The city is allowing the building of a church that doesnít meet the normal standard zoning for this neighborhood.

All other churches in the area have been built to the standard city code, now years later one of the churches wants to build a building taller then allowed code. As one would image the residents are upset with the much larger then normal structure within their neighborhood and 96% of those living there oppose the building of it. However the city council has changed the zoning code to allow this one location to be developed.

All other residents and commercial buildings have stayed within the zoning codes for years; shouldnít a church also be required to the same standards and code? Is there separation between church and state? Should non-profit groups who pay no taxes have a voice and be allowed to ask for changes within the city or state zoning?

What are your thoughts?
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Texas
475 posts, read 1,416,935 times
Reputation: 251
Sounds like most of the city council are members of that church, vote em out and tell them right now why they are going back to the private sector to work.

Churches have a lot of voting members and the church lets them know it.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
Reputation: 35864
Churches are not exempt from safety issues. For example, the sunday-school bus that picks up my neighbor's daughter has to have license plates on it, and needs to pass a motor vehicle safety inspection. Similarly, any zoning regulations that regulate construction codes have to be complied with by churches.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 3,451,419 times
Reputation: 1931
Any property owner can request a zoning variance. The problem here is not with the church, but with the council. Was there not a public comments stage of the variance application? In my area there would have been, and that is the residents opportunity to voice their objections.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:09 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,461,476 times
Reputation: 3869
There's more to this story than is being told.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:56 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,236 posts, read 13,523,621 times
Reputation: 25856
This could have more to do with the Planning Commission than City Council.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:04 AM
 
Location: California
29,597 posts, read 31,914,576 times
Reputation: 24731
Not a church/state issue.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
29,750 posts, read 26,780,300 times
Reputation: 78992
I can understand that a property owner for a residences or a commercial retail business might have need for changes in the zoning codes and should be able to ask the city offices for zoning to amend or change the code in some way. If needed it may require the city council to become involved for the change.

However, private property owners and commercial business pay taxes to support the city, county and state governments for their services. When there are no taxes being paid, should there be a voice allowed?

There are a number of non-profit organizations that donít pay taxes, should the governments hear their voice?
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
Reputation: 35864
Quote:
Originally Posted by AksarbeN View Post

However, private property owners and commercial business pay taxes to support the city, county and state governments for their services. When there are no taxes being paid, should there be a voice allowed?

There are a number of non-profit organizations that donít pay taxes, should the governments hear their voice?
The constitution protects the rights of everyone under the jurisdiction of the United States equally, irrespective of whether they have a real or perceived tax liability. Everyone, including the church, has a First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:09 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,461,476 times
Reputation: 3869
Quote:
Originally Posted by AksarbeN View Post
I can understand that a property owner for a residences or a commercial retail business might have need for changes in the zoning codes and should be able to ask the city offices for zoning to amend or change the code in some way. If needed it may require the city council to become involved for the change.

However, private property owners and commercial business pay taxes to support the city, county and state governments for their services. When there are no taxes being paid, should there be a voice allowed?

There are a number of non-profit organizations that donít pay taxes, should the governments hear their voice?
Does the city government listen to the "voice" of the local university that is a non-profit corporation and doesn't pay taxes?
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