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International Church of Foursquare Gospel v. City of San Leandro

634 F.3d 1037 (2011)

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International Church of Foursquare Gospel v. City of San Leandro

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

634 F.3d 1037 (2011)

Facts

Due to an increase in membership, the International Church of Foursquare Gospel (Foursquare) (plaintiff) outgrew its location and began looking for a larger property to hold church services and activities. Foursquare’s core beliefs required a location where the congregation could meet in one place and offer corporate worship as well as Sunday school and other activities. Foursquare found an appropriate property in the industrial-park zoning district located within the City of San Leandro (the city) (defendant). Foursquare sought to purchase the property and met with city officials to discuss necessary zoning changes. At the time, the city’s zoning code did not allow assembly use in industrial-park districts but did allow assembly use in residential districts if the assembly obtained a conditional-use permit. The city adopted a zoning amendment that created assembly-use overlay districts, which could be applied to nonresidential properties to make assembly use allowable in addition to the preexisting allowable activities under the current zoning. Foursquare purchased the property and applied to amend the zoning of the property from industrial park to industrial park with assembly-use overlay. Foursquare also applied for a conditional-use permit. The city denied both the application for rezoning and the conditional-use permit because it found the property to be inappropriate for assembly use due to the presence of hazardous materials and industrial activities near the property. Foursquare filed suit against the city. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the city, despite evidence that there were no other properties within the city that could accommodate Foursquare, and Foursquare appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Duffy, J.)

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