Sunday, December 28, 2008

Maryland Court Says Denial of New Sign Does Not Subtantially Burden Church

In Trinity Assembly of God of Baltimore City, Inc. v. People's Counsel for Baltimore County, (MD Ct. App., Dec. 24, 2008), the Court of Appeals of Maryland in a 48-page opinion rejected a church's RLUIPA challenge to a decision of the Baltimore County Zoning Board of Appeals. The county refused to grant a variance to a Towson (MD) church that wanted to put up a 250 square foot sign facing the Beltway. Rejecting Trinity church's appeal, the court held that neither the Sign Law nor the zoning denial imposed a substantial burden on the church's religious exercise.