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On the one hand I understand why they would want to restrict the number of churches but on the other hand, any law used there can be used elsewhere and I don’t want religious institutions restricted:
They are not the words one expects to hear from a politician or a Southerner, and Leonard Scarcella is both: “Our city has an excessive number of churches.”Scarcella is mayor of this Houston-area community, which has 51 churches and other religious institutions packed into its 7 square miles.
With some 300 undeveloped, potentially revenue-producing acres left in Stafford, officials are scrambling to find a legal way to keep more tax-exempt churches from building here.
“With federal laws, you can’t just say, ‘We’re not going to have any more churches,’ ” Scarcella said. “We respect the Constitution, but 51 of anything is too much.”
Stafford, population 19,227, is the largest city in Texas without a property tax, and it depends on sales taxes and business fees for revenue. Nonprofits have been attracted by its rapid growth and minimal deed restrictions. “It’s thrown everything out of balance, plus providing zero revenue. Somebody’s got to pay for police, fire and schools,” City Councilman Cecil Willis said.
In one quarter-mile section near the city center, parishioners can choose among 17 churches. There are three small churches in the Quail Ridge Plaza shopping center, and three large brick churches on the street behind it. Down the road, the Evangelical Formosan Church is tucked behind a muffler shop.
“If you can’t find religion in Stafford, Texas, you ain’t looking hard enough,” Bane said.
Willis said he asked the last six applicants why they wanted to build a church in Stafford. “Every one of them said they prayed about it, and God said to come here,” he said. “I can’t compete with that, so here we are.”
That last quote is so funny, I laugh every time I think about it.
(Link via Drudge Report)