Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Christian In-Patient Rehab Program Loses Zoning Suit In Florida
In Men of Destiny Ministries, Inc. v. Osceola County, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80908 (MD FL, Nov. 6, 2006), a Florida federal district court rejected claims brought under both RLUIPA and the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act by a Christian residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program that was denied a conditional use permit to operate in an area near St. Cloud (FL) zoned for residential use. The court found that the county's refusal did not impose a substantial burden on the organization's exercise of its religion since it is free to run its program in other areas of the County that are zoned appropriately or to operate through out-patient counseling rather than with an in-patient facility.