ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended February 02, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 05Feb01

By Kent Larsen

Lexington KY to Settle with LDS Church in Zoning Dispute

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY -- Lawyers for Lexington, Kentucky faced with a court hearing to determine damages due to the LDS Church, have proposed a settlement which would give the Church the parking it sought and $90,000. The dispute comes because a local zoning board refused permission for the Church to increase the size of the parking lot for a chapel adjacent to the University of Kentucky.

The Lexington Fayette County Board of Adjustment twice denied LDS Church petitions to allow construction of additional parking spaces for its 24,000-square-foot chapel, the only rejections recorded among the 74 petitions by churches to increase parking since 1987. Because of the second denial in 1998, the LDS Church filed a lawsuit, claiming that the board had ruled against the Church solely because of religion.

In a June 2000 decision, Fayette Circuit Court Judge John Adams ruled for the Church. "The court has no hesitation to find that the church was treated differently and was treated as such because of their religious beliefs. [The city] offers no genuine interest, compelling or rational, that would indicate it acted in any way other than to discriminate against the church because of (its) religious affiliation."

The court was about to begin hearing evidence on the damages due last Thursday when city lawyers said they had a possible settlement. The proposed settlement, which still must be accepted by the parties, would give the Church $90,000 and allow it to construct the additional 46 parking stalls it sought, in addition to the 130 already in the building's parking lot.

If approved, the settlement will mark the end of a long effort to solve an increasing parking need. The Church has owned the property since before 1972, when a portion of the land it owned was donated to the University of Kentucky for a thoroughfare to the campus. The chapel is located in a post neighborhood of homes costing in excess of $250,000 each.

After first being rejected for 30 additional spaces, the LDS Church tried and considered several options. It purchased a neighboring home for $375,000, with the aim of leveling it for parking, but neighbors objected, and the Church dropped it. Local leaders even considered finding additional parking several blocks away, but rejected that idea as impractical. Even moving to another location is impractical, since it would not only cost about $2.8 million, but require a zoning variance, since county zoning laws limit Churches to 10,000 square feet.

In spite of the ruling, board members maintain that religion had no part in their decision to reject the Church's petition. Board chairwoman Martha Jenkins claimed that the decision was because the chapel was hemmed in on all sides, and has no good place to expand. LDS Church officials did not comment for the Lexington Herald-Leader's story on the lawsuit.


City moves to end parking fight
Lexington KY Herald-Leader 27Jan01 T1
By Louise Taylor: Herald-Leader Staff Writer
Lawyers negotiating $90,000 settlement with Mormon church


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information