Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

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Religious Land Use and Zoning Blogs

Churches and other religious institutions are protected from discrimination by municipalities and other local government bodies by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, better known as RLUIPA. This blog by the national leaders in religious land use and zoning law highlights RLUIPA case studies and includes commentary on related news for church leaders and others throughout the country, as well as explanations of components of the RLUIPA law.

Dalton & Tomich participates in American Planning Association Webinar on RLUIPA

On Friday August 5, 2016, Daniel Dalton, Evan Seeman and Noel Sterett led a seminar with over 500 members of the American Planning Association, representing land use planners, urban planners and zoning officials, discussing the important topic of “Planning For Religious Land Uses in an […]

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

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

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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RLUIPA, Substantial Burdens and Hardships.

In Andon, LLC v. City of Newport News, Virginia, the Court was asked to review a RLUIPA case to determine if a substantial burden existed when the Church sought zoning approval after they were told by the planning staff that it would not be approved for a commercial parcel of property.  The Court addresses […]

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RLUIPA’S Unreasonable Limitations and Total Exclusions provisions

The case of Eagle Cove Camp & Conference Center, Inc. v. Town of Woodboro, Wisconsin is an interesting case involving, in part, RLUIPA’S least litigated claims: unreasonable restrictions and total exclusions. Eagle Cove Camp & Conference Center, Inc. (“Eagle”) sought to construct a year-round Bible […]

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Does RLUIPA apply to fortune tellers?

In Patricia Moore-King v. County of Chesterfield, the Court was asked if RLUIPA applies to fortune tellers. The answer is No, at least in the Fourth Circuit. Patricia Moore-King (“Moore-King” or “Plaintiff”) brought suit against the County of Chesterfield, Virginia (the “County” or “Defendant”) challenging the […]

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Special Exceptions under Pennsylvania law

Servant’s Oasis (“Plaintiff”) is a non-denominational ministry “that exists to rescue, refresh and grow God’s people.” Servant’s Oasis sought to develop a religious retreat that would sit on three contiguous parcels of land located in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania (the “Property”), of which approximately 153 acres […]

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Religious Worship in Residential Homes: Is it an Accessory Use or Change of Use?

  In many religious denominations, churches have their members form  bible studies or small groups where members meet on a weekly basis to form a community within the church.  These matters generally do not raise a concern for communities.  However, when a home church starts […]

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Ripeness: Determining when a land use case can be filed.

Sheri Torah, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) is a religious corporation that operates a yeshiva, a Jewish religious school. Yeshivas are part of the religious practice of Hasidic Jews, whose faith requires full-time instruction of children in schools within walking distance of their homes. In 2008, Plaintiff entered […]

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Variances vs. Special Exceptions: In the Matter of Tabernacle of Victory Pentecostal Church v. David P. Weiss

Tabernacle of Victory Pentecostal Church (“Petitioner”) is the owner of a certain property on the Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square, New York. The property is split zoned, with the front situated in a “Business District” and the rear situated in a “Residence C District.” Due […]

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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 experience serving both as general counsel and special litigation counsel.