First Covenant Church of Seattle v. Seattle

787 P.2d 1352 (1990)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

First Covenant Church of Seattle v. Seattle

Washington Supreme Court
787 P.2d 1352 (1990)

  • Written by Jody Stuart, JD

Facts

First Covenant Church of Seattle (Covenant) (plaintiff) owned and operated a church building used exclusively for religious purposes. The City of Seattle (city) (defendant) then designated the church as a landmark. Under a landmark-preservation ordinance and a landmark-designation ordinance, Covenant was required to obtain city approval before changing the church’s exterior. The application of the ordinances to the church greatly diminished the church’s property value. The landmark-designation ordinance provided that proposed changes to the church’s exterior based on liturgy would be approved, but only after Covenant submitted its plans to and negotiated possible alternatives with the city. Covenant brought an action in state trial court against the city, asserting that the application of the landmark ordinances to churches was unconstitutional. In a motion for summary judgment, the city stated that the explicit liturgical exception in the landmark-designation ordinance meant that changes to Covenant’s church exterior for religious purposes were exempt from the usual approval requirement. The trial court granted the city’s summary judgment. Covenant appealed, and the court of appeals certified the appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dore, J.)

Concurrence (Utter, J.)

Dissent (Dolliver, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership