Fed. Judge Rules against Christian School Move

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A federal judge ruled that a suburb in Ohio did not discriminate when they blocked a Christian school from moving into an office building.

Tree of Life Christian Schools has been trying for five years to move into an upper Arlington office complex.

U.S. District Judge George C. Smith said the area is zoned to increase the city's tax base and schools are not a permitted use.

He concluded that the ordinance does not treat religious schools differently than others.

"Based on the evidence presented, allowing a school, religious or not ... would be inconsistent with the purposes of the ORC Office and Research District," Smith wrote.

Tree of Life plans to appeal.

"We believe Judge Smith's decision is incorrect as a matter of law. The city treated Tree of Life less favorably than other secular uses that are allowed... in the zoning jurisdiction," Tree of Life's attorney, Erik Stanly, wrote in an email to the Columbus Dispatch Tuesday.

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