A religious-liberty law firm is assisting a Christian school in a legal fight over zoning laws.
Brad Dacus and Pacific Justice Institute are representing Faith on Hill Church over its dispute with the county government over allowing Skopos Christian School to operate at its property.
According to Dacus, the church is allowing the private school to use a church wing after the school was displaced last year.
Then came the complaint: Clackamas County began sending the church letters asserting that letting Skopos operate on church property constituted a "change of use" that violated the church's permit.
The church’s permit, which dates back to 1977, allowed the congregation to add an educational wing, PJI contends.
The county is demanding that the church apply for a new permit but PJI filed suit Dec. 31 on behalf of Faith on Hill and the Christian school. In the lawsuit, PJI cites the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which became law in 2000.
"There's nothing wrong with that violating the conditional use permit," argues Dacus. "The Religious Land Use Act would protect this, and yet the county wants to shut this private Christian school down and tell them they cannot be in this community.”