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Sandy Springs, Church of Scientology to reach resolution?

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The three-year-long dispute between The Church of Scientology and a north Atlanta suburban community may soon be resolved.

The Sandy Springs City Council will convene a meeting next Tuesday to discuss the status of the church’s challenge to a failed 2009 zoning request, according to the local Reporter Newspaper.

Sandy Springs lawmakers and Scientologist leaders have been locked in a legal battle since city councilors stymied the group’s bid to convert a 32,000-square-foot office building into a 44,000-square-foot church facility. Lawmakers green lit use of the property, but blocked their efforts to expand citing limited parking.

Church officials accused the city of religious discrimination–bowing to intense pressure from community groups who mustered the signatures of 700 residents opposed to the zoning request–in a law suit filed in federal court in early 2010.

The city won the first round last year, when U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg found no fault with local enforcement of municipal ordinances. Federal court records indicate the two parties met in mediation in late March, though neither has disclosed the terms.

- James Richardson