SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The legal battle between the Diocese of Springfield and the city, over what to do with a closed church, is headed back to court.
The Diocese closed the Our Lady of Hope Church in 2009, but the City Council voted unanimously to establish this 107 year old church as a historic district, preventing its demolition.
The Diocese says that's "religious gerrymandering" and interfering with the church's constitutional rights.
A federal judge in January of 2011 sided with the city; Diocese Spokesman Mark Dupont said that negotiations to resolve the case with the help of a mediator failed.
The Diocese has now appealed to federal appeals court.
Dupont says this historic district title is well intended, but they're counterproductive. "That really chases away most people who want to buy the property because they know they're going to deal with all sorts of regulations and interference from local government that they're just not interested in."
This case could be in Boston's federal appeals court by this spring.