DuPage Rejects Limits on Churches

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 13, 2009 | Go to article overview

DuPage Rejects Limits on Churches


Byline: Jake Griffin jgriffin@dailyherald.com

The DuPage County Board unanimously rejected a measure imposing significant limitations on the building of churches in the county Tuesday.

Board members said the proposed zoning changes went beyond what they intended when the issue of controlling church construction was first broached. Board members said they initially wanted to control church construction and growth in residential areas.

The proposal would have required new churches in unincorporated areas to build on at least five acres, which opponents complained would limit churches to parcels along highways or industrial parks. Expansion of existing churches would have also been hindered.

"These (zoning) amendments weaken our communities, they treat religious institutions unequally to other organizations and they are unnecessary," said Dan Easley, senior warden of the vestry at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton. "DuPage County already has the ability to prevent religious institutions or other places of assembly from building or expanding when it deems a site to have traffic, parking or other site-specific problems."

Several legal experts opposing the zoning changes questioned the constitutionality of the new rules as well.

Board member Kyle Gilgis, chairwoman of the boards development committee, said the committee should work with the countys religious community to develop a zoning ordinance for churches that will work for everyone. …

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