Va. Supreme Court Upholds F.C. City’s Decision Vs. Columbia Baptist Church

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled yesterday to uphold a lower court ruling supporting the City of Falls Church’s action to prohibit the consolidation of properties owned by the Columbia Baptist Church in the City.

In the case of James V. City of Falls Church. According to the Supreme Court’s website, “The trial court did not err in granting a motion to strike the evidence, or in dismissing an action by a church which had been denied an applications for consolidation of several lots after consideration by a zoning administrator, planning staff, and the locality’s planning commission. The circuit court did not fail to apply the correct standard of review, and the church failed to show that the planning commission’s denial of its consolidation application was not properly based on the applicable ordinances, or was arbitrary or capricious, as was its burden of proof. The circuit court did not err in finding that the commission had the right and authority to disregard the zoning administrator’s interpretation of a local ordinance in deciding whether to approve or disapprove the consolidation application.”