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Local News

Sisters Man Faces More Possible Permit Violations for Conducting Church Services in His Home


John Shepherd of Sisters has tried to get a permit to conduct farm weddings on his 200 acres in Sisters for four years.

 

He's spent thousands of dollars in fees, but still has no permit.

 

Now the county is saying if he is conducting church services in his home, he has to get a permit for that too.

 

Deschutes Community Development Department Director Nick Lelack  spoke with Lars Larson, who questioned whether you need a permit to have services in your home.

 

"That's a good question.  Our legal counsel is researching that.  What caught our attention is he and a member o the public said he registered his church with the Oregon Secretary of State's Office.  We have not ordered him to stop his services.  We're not taking any code enforcement at this time."

 

Shepherd says he holds services for about a dozen people at his home.

 

He has contacted a christian civil liberties group and claims a notice from the county accusing him of possibly violating county code, is a violation of his first amendment rights.


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