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Historic Olvera Street Church Will Protest City’s Plan To Charge Rent

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Members of a historic church on Olvera Street are planning a protest after the city moved to charge rent.

Officials and supporters of La Plaza Methodist Church will march to City Hall at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to ask city council for a more reasonable lease agreement.

Church employees say the city wants to charge them $232 a month, plus a complicated fee structure for special events, such as weddings and baptisms. They say those events could cost the church thousands of dollars in fees.

The church used to pay the city $1 a year, but that 50-year agreement ended a few years ago. After the city paid for expensive renovations to bring the church up to code, it tried to raise the rent, citing the separation between church and state.

The church contends that it is a non-profit that helps the community, namely the poor and homeless.

After the march, church officials are expected to address the city council.

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