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7.

For these reasons, we looked for property to buy or sent
during the entire two years we met there. We were looking for
a building which would allow us to grow, and which did not
require too much remodeling or repair in order to be used as
a church.
I reviewed the real estate ads in the newspaper regularly, and
members of the church drove all over the area between ssen and
115th streets on the north and south and King Drive and Kedzie
on the east and west, looking for suitable property. At one
point, five realtors were looking for property on our behalf.

The properties we found during this period were either too small for our needs, had been through a fire, were next to a tavern or liquor store, or cost over $250,000. We understood that, as a practical matter, it was impossible to get a permit for a church near a liquor store and so did not pursue those properties.

10.

When we found a former heating company building which was suitable for our needs at 8536 s. Racine. The building is located in a 1-1 zoning district, so a special use permit was necessary in order for us to use the building. However, we were desperate for a building and so we decided to go through the process to obtain a special use permit.

The church entered into a contract to purchase the building, contingent on obtaining a special use permit.

12.

My first step was to meet with Alderman Murphy to enlist bis
support for our use of the building. He expressed his support
and gave me a list of neighbors to notify that we were filing
for a special use permit.
The church spent $260 · and many hours of labor to send
certified letters to all the neighbors on the list, as
required by the zoning ordinance. We also obtained a denial
letter from the Department of Zoning.

13.

14.

15.

However, when we went to the Zoning Board of Appeals to file
our application, we were told that we had used a list of
registered voters rather than a list of property owners for
our notice, and therefore the whole process would have to be
repeated, at an additional expense of over $200.
We also discovered that there was a tavern within 100 feet of
the church when the Department of Planning refused to support
our application for that reason.
At this point, we hired an attorney with experience in zoning
matters, in addition to the real estate attorney who was
handling our purchase of the property. When we were finally
able to refile our application, we also retained an appraiser.

16.

Exhibit A-6

to testify at our zoning hearing.

17

Just before our hearing, our zoning attorney discovered that the tavezn which was causing our zoning problems had renewed its liquor license in 1990, even though it was already within 100 feet of another chusca.

18.

After we had our hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals,
we and the seller had to wait one month for a decision on our
application.
Over all, our direct costs to obtain the zoning permit were
between four and five thousand dollars.

19.

19

The congregation was extremely irustrated with the time it took to obtain our special use permit so that we could have a permanent meeting place. We lost three or four members over this issue, along with their financial support of the church.

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Many members of the church questioned my authority and my integrity because I was sure that God had provided this building for us. They believed that if God bad provided the building, we would not be having the delays, expenses, and problems we were having. This led to discouragement among the church members.

21.

When we obtained our approval letter, it was contingent on our paving the parking lot behind the building in a very specific way. We complied with these requirements at a cost to the church of approximately $10,075; we now have the only paved parking lot in the 8500 block of South Racine, in spite of the fact that there is another church and many small businesses on the block.

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

EASTERN DIVISION

CIVIL LORTIES ron Umw BILI nas, ET AL.,

CITY OZ CLICAGO AND

STATE OF ILLINOIS.

WFIDAVIT OF MOUNT ZION CHURC.

(ICLZSIA DE AVIVAMIENTO YONTE DE SION) I, Jose Acevedo, being sworn upon my oath, state that I am the Pastor of Iglesia de Avivamiento Monte de Sion and that I have personal knowledge of the facts stated herein and am competent to testify thereto: 1. Iglesia de Avivamiento Monte de Sion is an Illinois Not-for

profit corporation which began meeting as a church in 1983 and was incorporated in 1986. The church currently has

approximately 110 members. 2. Worship, teaching of the Bible, baptism, and communion are all

integral to the exercise of the beliefs of the church. All these activities require that the members of the church gathe: together regularly.

From February of 1988 to December of 1993, the church rented space at 4545 n. Kedzie, Chicago, which was zoned 02-2. We did not have a special use permit at this location. A city building inspector came out to the property in 1990 and told me that he would return in a year and did not want to see the church meeting there at that time.

In 1990, we also began to outgrow. Our rented space. People attending services had to stand, and we were only able to have two Sunday School classes. We had no space for a nursery, and we were unable to host services with other churches. Due to these factors and to our lack of a special use permit, we began looking for new rental space.

During our search we became more acutely aware of the special
use permit requirements for churches, because many landlords
were unwilling to rent to us due to the zoniag complications
of renting to a church.
In April of 1993, we located property at 3949 N. Pulaski which
was suitable for our purposes, and entered into a lease

6.

Exhibit A-7

subject to our obtaining a special use permit. The property is zoned -2. We also were able to lease parking spaces ia nearby lots for use on Sunday mornings, which is the only time the church needs a sigaificant amount of parking. The number of parking spaces we leased was adequate under the Chicago zoning ordinance.

7.

We obtained a denial letter from the Chicago Department of
Zoning, ordered a zoning search, and sent notice to all
neighboring property owners as required by the Chicago Zoning
Ordinance. When we attempted to file our application for i
special use with the Board of Appeals, they informed us that
our parking did not meet the requirements of the ordinance
because the parking was only available to. the church on Sunday
mornings. The Board of Appeals also informed us that we would
need to apply separately for the church. building and each
parking lot, with total filing. fees and zoning search fees of
over $1,000. We had already incurred.over. $3,000 in legal
fees and related expenses in . ou attempt to rent this
property.
The Zoning Board of Appeals also advised us that it was
unlikely that a permit would be granted because a liquor store
was located within 100 feet of the space we wanted to rent.

We met with Alderman Wojcik to get his support for our permit application. He informed us that one neighborhood group was opposed to our use of 3949 X. Pulaski as a church and therefore he would not support our special use application.

10.

Because of the problems with our zoning application, we decided to terminate our lease and look for other property rather than have the zoning board deny our permit. But for the requirements for a special use permit and the Illinois liquor law, we were ready, willing, and able to lease 3949 N. Pulaski for use as a church.

12.

When we lost the property on Pulaski, .the congregation became discouraged because it seemed. unlikely that we would be able to find a bigger meeting place. . Some members of the church became so upset with our situation. that they left the church.

12.

In late 1993, we located property at 2318 W. Foster, zoned 32-
2. The landlord was willing to lease the property to us with
a provision that we can terminate the lease if the City of
Chicago attempts to shut down the church due to our failure to
cbtain a special use permit. We have been meeting at this
location since the beginning of 1994.
Since we have moved to the property on Foster, the church has
added approximately fifty new members. This property
Currently has adequate space for the church, but the
uncertainty of our zoning situation and our current rate of
growth are very stressful for the congregation and for me. If

13.

Exhibit A-7

we cannot meet at our current location for any reason, we will be without a place to meet. The last time we had to look for a new location, it took us three years, and the prospect of beginning another property Search, given the zoning burden placed on churches, is extremely daunting.

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