Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

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Land Use and Zoning

Special Exceptions under Pennsylvania law

  • July 30, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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

  • July 20, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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

  • July 17, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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

  • July 16, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  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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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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State Environmental Laws and RLUIPA

  • June 15, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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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Homeless Ministries and RLUIPA

  • May 27, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Harbor Missionary Church (“the Church”), located in the City of San Buenaventura, California (“Ventura” or “the City”), provides daily chapel services, bible studies, and prayer to the community of Ventura. Specifically, the Church has devoted itself to serving the needs of Ventura’s homeless population, believing […]

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Equal Terms, RLUIPA and the 7th Circuit Test: a cautionary tail of litigating religious land use claims

  • May 25, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Truth Foundation Ministries (“TFM”) is a small church – typically hosting between 40 and 60 parishioners – that conducts Sunday worship services in Romeoville, Illinois. TFM previously held its services at a local high school, but when school district closures prevented the church from operating, […]

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Andon v. City of Newport News and the Role of Risk in RLUIPA Substantial Burden Calculus

  • March 5, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

As the saying goes, sometimes we need to risk it to get the biscuit. Little progress would be made if mankind allowed the potential for failure to discourage otherwise worthy undertakings. Unfortunately for religious institutions, the Fourth Circuit in Andon v. City of Newport News […]

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Local governments continue mistreating churches in land use and zoning matters

  • November 16, 2015
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

AMT Owners Kenny & Beverly Sexton Join in Partnership with Summit Church Pastors Hal and Lisa Boehm. (Photo courtesy American Mountatin Theater) Local governments are mistreating churches across the country. The latest example of this wave of discrimination is making headlines in Elkins, West Virginia, […]

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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.