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Florida county lets Wiccan church meet at leader's home

Posted: Friday, January 16, 2004

MILTON, Fla. (AP) Santa Rosa County officials say members of a Wiccan church can meet at their leader's home without obtaining a formal permit or zoning change.

The county zoning board in November denied a rezoning application from Chancellor William E. Livingston of the Fire Dance Church of Wicca. County commissioners and the county attorney later reached an agreement that his residence is not a house of worship so no zoning change is required.

At the zoning board meeting, about 200 opponents had applauded the denial of Livingston's application. One held up a Bible, but others said this wasn't a religious issue, arguing that a residential area is inappropriate for a church and citing traffic problems.

Livingston assured commissioners and neighbors his backyard services would abide by the county noise ordinance and that church members can park off the street.

The church Web site says Wicca believes ''nothing is entirely evil or entirely good'' and is ''based on Divinity expressed in nature, gender equality, and the ability of individuals to have a positive impact on their environment.''

http://www.fdcow.com



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