Our take: City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., have voted to adjust their zoning laws after Christian couple Chuck and Stephanie Fromm were fined for holding a Bible study in their home when city zoning laws decreed that no religious, fraternal or non-profit gatherings could be held in residential neighborhoods without a permit if three or more people were present. The couple was refunded and the zoning laws no longer penalize religious meetings based on the number of people present.
San Juan Capistrano, Calif. city officials have voted to change their zoning code after a couple was fined $300 for holding home Bible study sessions, KCBS-TV reported.
Chuck and Stephanie Fromm were cited last year after authorities said they were in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which bars “religious, fraternal or non-profit” gatherings of more than three people in residential neighborhoods without a costly permit. Stephanie held a weekly Bible study that drew about 20 people, while Chuck held a Sunday service that attracted about 50.
The Southern California city ultimately refunded the Fromms their fine after their story sparked a massive outcry, and on Tuesday the city council voted to change its code so that such home-based religious gatherings will not require permits.
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