The U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 denied Tree of Life Christian Schools’ petition to decide a legal battle that has lasted for more than eight years over the organization’s desire to operate a school in Upper Arlington’s largest office building.
Tree of Life petitioned the court in February to hear the case after a panel of judges from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a 2014 ruling that Upper Arlington did not discriminate against the Christian nonprofit corporation.
Upper Arlington officials have contended that zoning on the 6-acre property prohibits schools.
In court, Tree of Life has argued that the zoning restrictions violate the national Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.
The city has rejected Tree of Life’s attempts to rezone the property, saying it must maintain the office and research district where the property is located in order to maximize income tax revenue produced at the site.
Throughout its case, attorneys for the city have argued that Tree of Life representatives knew a school was not a permitted use on the property when they purchased the building in August 2010.