Church’s RV ministry loses appeal, case headed to court, Colorado Springs attorney says

Gazette Newspaper, December 28, 2021, featuring Andrew Nussbaum

A dispute between a Pueblo Pentecostal church’s longtime recreational-vehicle ministry for traveling evangelists and city zoning will head to court.

Having been denied an appeal Tuesday night that would have allowed visiting preachers to continue parking their RVs in Christian Growth Center’s lot at 1906 N. Hudson Ave., the church will file a civil action in district court, said Colorado Springs Attorney Andrew Nussbaum.

The lawsuit will seek a review of the Pueblo Zoning Board of Appeals’ rejection of the church’s request for an exemption from the municipal code in question, along with an injunction against the city’s enforcement of the RV ordinance, he said. The church also will ask for monetary reimbursement for damages and attorneys’ fees.

The five-member zoning board voted unanimously to deny the church’s appeal by approving a city attorney’s “Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law and Order.”

The findings conclude the board does not have the authority to grant the appeal, based on the request.

That position is incorrect, Nussbaum said.

The church’s attorneys, from the firm of Nussbaum Gleason in Colorado Springs, assert in the appeal paperwork that the city has erred in its interpretation and enforcement of the municipal code against the church.

Nussbaum has argued that preventing the church from providing a set of RV hook-ups free-of-charge to traveling evangelists, missionaries and ministers who have fallen on hard times violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.

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