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Ventura Spells Out 41 Conditions For Harbor Community Church

Publication Date: 
July 18, 2013
Ventura County Star (California)
Arlene Martinez

James A. Sonne, director of the Religious Liberty Clinic, spoke with Arlene Martinez of the Ventura County Star about the conditions placed by the city of Ventura on Harbor Community Church and the church's willingness to entertain reasonable solutions.

At or just before 8:30 on any weekday morning, people begin arriving at this simply constructed church with its storybook white steeple. On its face, the church fits neatly into this pretty Ventura neighborhood, next to an elementary school and park, and across from single-story homes and mostly well-kept gardens.

The people come by bike, on foot, in cars and minivans, many loaded with backpacks or carrying full plastic bags.


"As a general matter our position is we've been acting in accordance with our rights as a church on an ongoing basis," said James Sonne, director of Stanford Law School’s Religious Liberty Clinic, which is providing legal representation for Harbor.

But the church understands the neighborhood’s concerns and wants to work together, he said.

"The church is certainly willing to entertain reasonable ways to address reasonable concerns," Sonne said.