A Snohomish County pastor who ministers to ex-cons says the City of Marysville is trying to run his church out of town.

The Marysville Planning Department cited a Holy Ghost Revival Ministry building on Smokey Point Boulevard for non-conforming use.

Pastor John Mack says the building was a church office, where six sex offenders lived. He says the violation notice is part of a campaign by the city to stop the expansion of his ministry.

Mack says the message from the city is clear: Yes, they need to live someplace. Yes, we don t want them homeless because that s not good for the community. But go do it in another town.

Mack and his wife have been ministering to a growing number of sex offenders over the decades. They now operate a network of 10 sex offender homes and church facilities in Snohomish County.

Mack moved the six men out of the Smokey Point Boulevard home, but he hasn t given up the fight.

A federal court lawsuit says the City of Marysville is discriminating against the church and violating its right to the freedom of religion.

City officials would not comment on the pending legal matter. But documents from the planning department show that officials claimed the sex offender home violated the zoning laws of the commercial district where the home is located.

Mack s lawyer argues that the home is a church office and caretakers unit and qualifies as an acceptable dwelling.

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