Jump directly to the Content

ZONED OUT

These days it takes something extra to get a building permit.

Wanted: suburbs, cities, and villages where churches are free to build.

The city planning commission of Plymouth, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, seriously considered a proposal that would require all members of Plymouth churches to be residents of Plymouth. They considered another proposal prohibiting churches from building sanctuaries seating more than 300 people. On the advice of their legal counsel, both proposals were dropped.

The ordinance that did pass, though, required churches to buy a minimum of ten acres before they could construct a new building. In Plymouth, where population has grown from 30,000 to 60,000 in six years, houses average $200,000; property comes at a steep price. In effect, the city ordinance raised an almost unscalable economic barrier before new churches.

"You're looking at $2 million to start a first unit," says David Hoffman, pastor of St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth.

"Among Plymouth's city staff, more so than elected politicians," says ...

December
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Law or License?
Law or License?
From the Magazine
Bible Apps Are the New Printing Press
Bible Apps Are the New Printing Press
How evangelical computer programmers changed the way we read Scripture.
Editor's Pick
To Be a Pastor Is to Know Betrayal
To Be a Pastor Is to Know Betrayal
Apprenticing Jesus in a cruciform call.
close