Judge Blocks City, Cathedral Plans to Build Parking Lot

TOPEKA, Kan. - A Shawnee County District Court judge has ruled against the City of Topeka and Grace Cathedral in blocking plans for a parking lot near the cathedral.

The City Council had approved the parking lot near Grace Cathedral at Southwest 8th and Polk. But a group called Friends of Bethany Place challenged the council ruling, because the Bethany Place property is on the register of Historic Kansas Places and the parking lot would require destroying some large trees.

Monday, Judge Franklin Theis ruled in favor of Friends of Bethany Place and set aside the council approval.

The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas issued a statement from Bishop Dean Wolfe, saying Judge Theis’ ruling did not take into account the law and facts, and “it is imperative that we be allowed to use church property for church purposes and we will do all we can to ensure that the right to the free exercise of religion guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution is upheld.”

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