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Posted 12 Mar 2001   For week ended February 23, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 21Feb01

By Kent Larsen

Seattle Zoning Battle Shifts to Washington State Legislature

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON -- Opponents of a King County, Washington plan that would limit the size of churches and public schools in the county's rural areas have launched a new effort to stop the plan. Last week the county council put a 10-month moratorium on the building of new churches and schools in the county's rural areas, as a temporary compromise so that the county executive's plan to limit building size could be studied. Now, a state legislator has introduced a bill that would block the county from limiting building size.

Washington State House Representative Joyce Mulliken introduced the measure with the support of the Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and other opponents of the county's anti-growth plans. However, Mulliken admits that her measure isn't likely to pass. The state legislature is evenly split among Democrats and Republicans, and Mulliken, a Republican, doesn't have the support of the Democrats.

County Executive Ron Sims last year proposed that new buildings be limited to no more than 10,000 square feet to stop what he calls "the suburbanization of rural King County." Environmentalists backed the plan. But the Catholic, Lutheran and Mormon Churches in the county objected to Sims' plan, as did the interfaith Church Council of Greater Seattle, arguing that the ban would prevent them from serving a growing rural population.

Mormon News' analysis indicates that the Church has at least 13 stakes in the county, with probably more than 100 wards and branches. However, the number of congregations in rural King county is not known.


Bill would prevent county from limiting church size
Seattle WA Times 20Feb01 T1
By Eric Pryne: Seattle Times staff reporter


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