Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Consent Injunction Issued In Church's RLUIPA "Equal Terms" Challenge

A Kansas federal district court last week issued a consent order (full text) granting a preliminary injunction barring Garden City, Kansas from enforcing its zoning code against a church that has been located in the city's central business district for ten years. The order in Mount Zion Church of God In Christ v. City of  Garden City, Kansas, (D KA, Nov. 14, 2014), comes in a RLUIPA challenge to provisions that fail to include churches as permitted uses in the area zoned as Central Business District.  The complaint (full text) in the case invokes RLUIPA's "equal terms" provision as well as the 14th Amendment.  In September the city told Mount Zion that it must stop using its location as a church after the city received a complaint from a citizen about another nearby church. RLUIPA Defense blog today reports on the case.