Judge bars Garden City in church zoning dispute

Mount Zion Church of God (KSN File Photo)

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) – A federal judge has issued an order barring Garden City from interfering with worship at a church property in the central business district.

U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia on Friday issued the preliminary injunction under a consent agreement with the parties. The order makes no final determination on still pending claims for damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

Mount Zion Church of God in Christ sued Garden City last week alleging city officials had threatened to prosecute it for violating a zoning ordinance.

At issue is a Main Street building that has allegedly been used as a church for more than 10 years.

The church’s lawsuit alleges the city is violating its First Amendment rights and contends the zoning restriction is unconstitutional.

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