City of Sumner v. First Baptist Church

In City of Sumner v. First Baptist Church, 97 Wn.2d 1, 639 P.2d 1358 (1982), the City of Sumner found violations of its building code by a church-operated school, and the trial court "enjoined use of the building for school purposes until such time as it is brought into compliance with the code." Sumner, 97 Wn.2d at 4. In Sumner, four justices found that "it cannot be determined whether the City used the least restrictive means of achieving its compelling interest." Sumner, 97 Wn.2d at 9. Justice Utter concurred in the views expressed by these justices. See Sumner, 97 Wn.2d at 14-15 (Utter, J., concurring). While a majority supported the result of dissolving the injunction and remanding to the trial court for full consideration of the church's First Amendment claims, they did so for different reasons. See, e.g., Sumner, 97 Wn.2d at 15 (Williams, J., concurring) In Sumner the subject church had been lawfully located in a residential section of Sumner for a continual 75 years. However, the Uniform Building Code, which allowed for "grandfathered" nonconforming uses that were legal and existing at the time of its enactment, was only adopted by the City of Sumner in 1974. See Sumner, 97 Wn.2d at 11.