U.S. Justice Department Steps Into N.Y. Church Religious Land Use Case
The U.S. Justice Department is getting involved in a case where a Saint Lawrence County church claims the village of Canton is violating its rights by banning it from part of the town.
Christian Fellowship Centers of New York bought a former gentleman’s club to use the space for worship. Canton zoning officials said churches are not allowed in areas zoned for commercial use that allows secular assembles including theaters, fraternal organizations and social clubs.
The church wants to hold its services March 31 at the site of the former strip club and says it has no other location options for holding religious services on the 31st.
The United States Attorney General for the Northern District of New York filed a statement of interest in the church’s claims this week under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.