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Religious freedom vs. local control
Tue September 10, 2013
U.S. 7th Circuit To Hear Oneida County Case
A federal appeals court is hearing an Oneida county case involving a local government's ability to regulate private property designated for religious purposes.
The Jaros family is hoping to construct the Eagle Cove and Conference Center on their private land on Squash lake west of Rhinelander. Oneida county, its Board of Adjustment and the town of Woodboro have said they wouldn't allow the necessary permits, saying a recreational camp is not allowed in that zoning district. The Jaros family maintains the property is a religious facility, and as such, they cannot be denied their right to operate such a facility under the law known as RLUIPA, or the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.
The family first applied for the permits in 2004. In 2010 they filed a lawsuit in U.S.Court in Madison. That suit was rejected, and the family then filed an appeal in the the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago.