Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oregon Appeals Board Says Animist Church Must Be Permitted Under RLUIPA

In Young v. Jackson County, (OR Land Use Bd. App., Dec. 23, 2008), the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals held that the "equal terms" provision of RLUIPA was violated when a county denied an application to operate a church in an existing dwelling on land zoned for farm use, but within three miles of an urban growth boundary. Scott and Sulara Young, who practice a form of
Native American Animism known as Huichol Shamanism, already use the 10-bedroom house as a religious retreat center. The Board found that the county permits a number of other uses that have a similar impact on agricultural land, such as parks, playgrounds, community centers golf courses and living history museums. Today's Medford (OR) Mail Tribune reports on the decision.