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.

Ripeness, Finality and Subject Matter Jurisdiction on Justiciable Land Use Claims: Sunrise Detox V, LLC v. City of White Plains

  Sunrise Detox V, LLC (“Sunrise”) sought to establish a facility in White Plains, New York (the “City”) for individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. To accomplish its goal, Sunrise applied for a special use permit for its proposed facility: a building located in […]

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Community meals and RLUIPA

St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, Inc., (“St Vincent” or “Appellant”) is a community meal site and food pantry “that strives to meet the needs of homeless people and families with limited income in the greater Norwich[,] [Connecticut] area.” On July 9, 2012, St. Vincent […]

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Prior approval to assemble and use a building for Church and the subsequent demand to leave: RLUIPA and Substantial Burden concerns

The Church of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (“Plaintiff” or “Church”) brought suit against the City of Markham, Illinois (“Defendant” or “City”), following the City’s denial of a special use permit to allow Plaintiff to operate a church in an area zoned residential. Upon […]

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Zoning maps, zoning changes and RLUIPA -Liberty Temple Full Gospel Church, Inc. v. Village of Bolingbrook , Illinois

Liberty Temple Church of Bolingbrook (“Liberty Bolingbrook” or “Church”) is a small congregation of less than 100 members, and a branch of Liberty Temple Full Gospel Church, Inc. (“Liberty Gospel” or “Plaintiff). Liberty Gospel is a not-for-profit organization that is registered in Illinois, and has […]

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

  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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converting home to church

Converting a residential home to Church: Do you still need to comply with zoning ordinances?

Faith Walk Fellowship Church (“Faith Walk”) owns a single-family residence in a single-family residential district of Cleveland, Ohio (“the City”). As churches are permitted uses in single-family residential districts, Faith Walk sought a variance to use the residence as a church, and to install a […]

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Denominational Trust Clauses: Indiana’s Adoption of Trust Clause Interpretation

  The Church of the Brethren, South/Central Indiana District (“the Denomination”) is composed of forty-five Church of Brethren congregations located across Indiana, and dates back to 1708. The Roann Church of Brethren, Inc. and the Roann Church, Inc. (“the Congregation”) traces its origins to mission […]

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Licensing requirements and Ripeness: Davis v. City of Selma, California

Stephanie Davis (“Plaintiff”) is a spiritual counselor providing counseling in the County of Fresno, but sought to provide spiritual counseling within the incorporated City of Selma, California (“Defendant” or “City”). Plaintiffs spiritual and counseling activities are founded on and motivated by her fundamental religious beliefs, […]

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State Environmental Laws and RLUIPA

When does state environmental laws impact RLUIPA?  We previously blogged on Fortress Bible Church v. Feiner, a  case where the local community improperly used the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) to block a religious institution from building in the local community.  A […]

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Building Codes, Fire Codes and RLUIPA – Affordable Recovery Housing v. The City of Blue Island

SCENARIO: Affordable Recovery Housing (“ARH” or “Plaintiff”) is a non-profit, faith-based organization located in the City of Blue Island, Illinois (“Blue Island” or “Defendant”), on a property referred to as the “Mother of Sorrows property” (“the Property”). Since the mid-1950’s, the Mantellate Sisters of Mary […]

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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.