Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

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RLUIPA Cases

Church land use and zoning cases are complex. Relocating a church isn’t just a simple real estate transaction. Religious institutions often encounter discrimination from municipalities and other local governments before or during the land use planning process, including after denial of a zoning variance or conditional use permit, or in another planning commission decision.

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) protects organizations like yours from such discrimination. Churches, their insurers and other religious institutions across the country have won RLUIPA cases and successfully defending their rights to acquire and occupy new land with the help of the experienced religious land use and zoning attorneys at Dalton & Tomich PLC. Case studies highlighting many of those victories may be found below.

Religious Land Use Litigation – It’s more than another case

  • April 17, 2017
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

This past Friday I attended services at the Church I grew up and attended for nearly 30 years. This is the place where I was baptized, confirmed, attended eight years of elementary school then four years of high school at an affiliated school, was married […]

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A RLUIPA Win: The American Islamic Community Center will build a Mosque in Sterling Heights, Michigan

  • February 21, 2017
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

As reported in the New York Times, in a significant win for the Muslim community in Detroit, and for religious freedom throughout the United States, the American Islamic Community Center (“AICC”) has settled its lawsuit with the City of Sterling Heights. The AICC brought a […]

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A RLUIPA WIN: North Jersey Vineyard Church v. South Hackensack Township, New Jersey.

  • February 14, 2017
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

The North Jersey Vineyard Church is pleased to announce that it has settled its lawsuit with the Township of South Hackensack, New Jersey resulting in the Township approving its site plan, allowing it to use its building at 310 Phillips for religious assembly and paying […]

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Dalton & Tomich Achieves RLUIPA Settlement for New Jersey Church

  • December 29, 2016
  • by Kate Brink Harrison

Last week, Dalton & Tomich attorneys secured a legal settlement that allows their client, North Jersey Vineyard Church (“Vineyard”), to operate a church in a long-vacant office space right outside New York City. Under the terms of the settlement, Vineyard can use the vacant office […]

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Church Land Use Case: Grace Ministry Center, Kimball Township, MI

  • December 5, 2016
  • by Admin

Grace Ministry Center of Kimball Township (Port Huron, MI.), is a nondenominational religious organization that operates a church, daycare center, and youth ministry in the Port Huron Factory Shops outlet mall. After nine years as faithful tenants, the Church was informed that Storage of America […]

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A Religious Land Use Win in Oregon – Home Church and Wedding Ministry are Permissible Uses of Land

  • September 7, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

The law firm of Dalton & Tomich PLC is pleased to announce that our client Shepherdsfield Church prevailed in its land use dispute in central Oregon this week.  In this landmark decision, the administrative hearing officer found that home churches and wedding ministries are permitted […]

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RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Life Church—De Pere, Wisconsin

  • August 8, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Life Church, a rapidly growing nondenominational Christian congregation just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin, had outgrown its previous home after its attendance soared to around 1,500 for Sunday services. To resolve the space constraints, Life Church purchased a 48,000 square foot vacant building in the […]

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A RLUIPA win: Hope Rising Community Church—Penn Hills, Pennsylvania

  • August 8, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Hope Rising Community Church (“Hope Rising” or “Church”) is a Christian congregation first organized in 2013. In June 2014, the Church signed a three-year lease for a warehouse in Penn Hills, PA to use for religious services and assembly. The warehouse was in Penn Hills’ “Light […]

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Litigating Religious Land Use Claims: immunity for individual members of a City Council and Illinois State Tort & RFRA claims

  • June 30, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  American Islamic Center (“AIC” or “Plaintiff”) provides religious and educational services to the Muslim community of the Chicago metropolitan area. In March 2011, AIC began to search for a permanent facility in which to conduct its activities. On February 6, 3012, AIC contracted to […]

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A RLUIPA & Substantive Due Process Win: Summit Church v. Randolph County, West Virginia

  • May 24, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Summit Church – Elkins, West Virginia SCENARIO: Summit Church (“the Church”) of Elkins, West Virginia, sued the Randolph County Development Authority (“RCDA”) alleging that the RCDA’s imposed ban of churches on the former CSX railyard constituted a violation of the […]

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Dalton & Tomich, PLC is the national leader in successfully helping churches, other religious institutions and their insurers defend their rights in land use and zoning matters under RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. We have helped clients win cases against municipalities and other local government bodies from coast to coast, with expertise serving both as general counsel and special litigation counsel.