St. Louis Suburb Goes to Court in Fight Against New Temple

The City of Creve Coeur, a suburb of St. Louis, has announced that it will appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court a lower court’s decision last August instructing it to issue a building permit to Temple Israel, oldest Reform congregation in St. Louis.

Creve Coeur’s action came as something of a surprise, in view of the fact that the lower court decision had been greeted with wide public approbation. It is expected that Catholic and Protestant groups will file new briefs in support of the Temple when its case comes to the state’s highest tribunal.

Temple Israel had filed a suit against Creve Coeur asking the St. Louis County Circuit Court to declare “discriminatory and unconstitutional” an action of the Creve Coeur Board of Aldermen who amended a local zoning regulation to prevent the Temple from building on property it purchased for that purpose three years ago.

The country court, in the first such decision in the history of Missouri, ruled that the Creve Coeur zoning amendments violated the free exercise of religion guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

This decision was hailed by representatives of all the major faiths in St. Louis as a victory in the struggle of religious congregations against restrictive zoning ordinance. The local Catholic Archdiocese and the Protestant Metropolitan Church Federation had filed amicus curi briefs in support of the Temple’s suit.

NEXT STORY