Amid claims of racism, the Los Angeles City Council decided Wednesday not to allow construction of a Chinese church in a residential neighborhood in Northridge.
The council voted 12 to 1 to deny a conditional-use permit to the San Fernando Valley Chinese Baptist Church to operate a 70-member church at 8430 Corbin Ave.
Michael Woo, the only council member of Asian ancestry, cast the dissenting vote.
The vote followed a public hearing in which church supporters accused their opponents of racism.
"This would not be the first time in our city's history that minorities have been barred from certain neighborhoods by a coalition of neighbors and politicians," said the Rev. Ralph F. Wilson, pastor of Lindley Avenue Baptist Church in Tarzana, where the Chinese Baptist Church now shares quarters.
Councilman Hal Bernson, who represents the area sought for the church site, insisted that his opposition to the construction was based solely on his belief that a church does not belong in a single-family, residential neighborhood.