The United States Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a dispute over a proposed Bible camp in Oneida County.
The court announced the decision without explanation among a long list of other cases the court also denied.
Four of the nine justices on the court would have had to vote to accept the case, Eagle Cove Camp and Conference Center v. Town of Woodboro, No. 13-1274.
The plaintiffs, brothers Art, Wesley and Randall Jaros, sought Supreme Court review in March, arguing that the county and town violated federal and state laws governing how land-use regulations apply to religious organizations.
In attempting to take the case to the nation’s highest court, the brothers argued that lower courts – including a federal judge in Wisconsin and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago – had erred. Both courts ruled against the brothers.
The Jaroses have been trying to open the Bible camp, on Squash Lake, since 2004. They first filed suit in federal court in 2010, after the county denied an application for a conditional use permit to build the camp. The county made that decision, in part, based on advice from the town.
Officials have claimed the proposed camp did not comport with generally applicable zoning rules and would have been disruptive, and that the decision to deny the permit had nothing to do with the brothers’ religious affiliation.
Despite Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court, legal wrangling remains. In late November, the Jaroses filed a second lawsuit over the proposed camp. That case, in Oneida County Circuit Court, had been put on hold pending the outcome of the federal case.
The Lakeland Times will have the full story in Friday's edition.