Church Sues North Texas City

(Sherman-AP) -- A North Texas church filed a lawsuit against McKinney on Friday, claiming the city wrongly barred worship services in a private residence.

The federal lawsuit was filed in Sherman by Grace Community
Church of North Texas. The suit seeks to nullify the city's policy and allow the church to convene in the home of Mark and Linda Axelson.

Under the ordinance, churches are only allowed to meet in homes
if they are located in a "substantial structure and on a site of
at least two acres."

The church, with about 40 members, met from January of 2003
until May of 2004 at the home. Then the city responded to a neighbor's complaint and told Linda Axelson that the church had to stop meeting in her home -- or risk being fined.

McKinney planning director Brian James says he's surprised at
the lawsuit because he thought the church had found an alternate
site.

James also says McKinney has zoning regulations that apply
throughout the city.


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