The Lawndale City Council has refused to allow a wedding chapel to be built in a residential zone. The 3-2 vote came after a sharp exchange that raised concerns about business activity in neighborhoods and religious freedom.
The chapel, proposed for the 16000 block of Prairie Avenue, would have been the city's first facility established primarily to conduct weddings.
The council action reversed the Planning Commission, which said the chapel was similar to a church. Churches are permitted under the site's residential zoning.
Dian Bingham, who identified herself as an ordained minister in the American Fellowship Church, said she only wanted to conduct small weddings without receptions. Bingham is the ex-wife of Hawthorne City Manager Kenneth Jue, who accompanied her to the Lawndale council meeting.