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Appeals court affirms decision on proposed Rhinelander religious camp

CHICAGO, Ill. (WXPR) - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago has backed a federal judge's decision concerning a family's plan to build a religious camp on Squash Lake near Rhinelander.

The three judges affirmed the ruling of U.S. District Judge William Conley who said Oneida county, it's Board of Adjustment, and the town of Woodboro had NOT denied the religious freedom of the Jaros family. The family maintained the denials violated their rights under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, which forbids denial of religious land use by governmental zoning. The family first filed in 2004 with Oneida county to get needed permits to build a religious camp on family property on Squash lake. In 2010, the Jaros family appealed to the federal court in Madison. Judge William Conley in February ruled Oneida county and the town of Woodboro did not violate the family's religious rights by those permit denials. The family appealed to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago who late Wednesday affirmed Conley's earlier ruling. Oneida County Corporation Counsel Brian Desmond said he couldn't comment on the decision as there is a possibility of further litigation. A request for comment from the Jaros family was not available at deadline.