From the outstanding blog Religion Clause by Howard M. Friedman.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Church’s RLUIPA Challenge To Zoning Denial Is Rejected
In Wesleyan Methodist Church of Canisteo v. Village of Canisteo, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58586 (WD NY, June 1, 2011), a New York federal district court held that a church had failed to plausibly plead that denial of its zoning request by the Village of Canisteo, NY imposed a substantial burden on the church’s free exercise rights under RLUIPA. The city refused to permit building of a church in a light industrial zone. However, several other alternatives were available to the church, including building new structures on its existing property.
Hm. This sounds a LOT like LifeBridge’s whinings.
Sorry, the whole ‘victim’ thing is not working for churches.
Cities across the country are waking up to this tactic of using RLUIPA as a club to hammer away at zoning laws.
It’s time for RLUIPA to be challenged head-on – it’s nothing more than a tool for Dominionists.