A small Baptist church interested in buying a building in East Point was denied a permit by the zoning board. The building, previously used as office space and a daycare center, is zoned as commercial property. Under the zoning code, churches and other places of worship are allowed in the area, however, a church may not occupy a building previously used as commercial space.

Because the church planned to occupy the existing building rather than tear it down and build a new one, its permit application was denied. The church believed this provision in East Point's zoning code violates its free exercise of religion.

The ACLU of Georgia filed a complaint in federal court on April 19, 2006 that asserted violations of the United States and Georgia constitutions and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (“RLUIPA”). As a result, a settlement was reached, and the city of East Point has since repealed the ordinance and churches are now allowed to occupy buildings that were previously used for commercial purposes.

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