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Associated Press, Published December 29 2011

Court: Church can build in Wayzata neighborhood

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A church has won a court battle to build in a residential neighborhood in Wayzata.

A federal court-mediated settlement was reached last week between the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka and the city of Wayzata. It allows the church to tear down a house and build a church and parking lot.

In 2008, congregants decided they had outgrown their small church and asked city officials to rezone a member's three-acre residential property so they could build there. The city turned them down.

The church sued under a 2000 federal law that effectively allows religious projects to trump local zoning restrictions.

The Star Tribune reports there have been similar victories for congregations under the law in California, Maryland, Colorado and elsewhere.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.