A Sauk City church is suing the village in federal court for denying a zoning change that would allow its relocation to an industrial park.
The lawsuit filed by the River Hills Community Church claims the village infringed on the congregation’s liberties by restricting its right to worship at the former Community Business Bank building on Sycamore Street.
Sauk City’s zoning code requires churches to get a conditional use permit in order to locate within village limits, to be on a minimum two-acre lot and located in a residential area.
“Such an onerous restriction reminds one more of a Middle Eastern dictatorship or Chinese state control rather than a free America,” said John Mauck, a Chicago attorney who is representing the church. “If people want to form a congregation, buy a building, and comply with every building fire, health and safety code, why should a city say ‘You cannot locate in our town without our say so?’”
If the church is willing waive its property tax exemption, then their lawyer might have a point.