Saturday, November 22, 2014

Zoning Denial Did Not Create Substantial Burden Under RLUIPA

In Andon, LLC v. City of Newport News, Virginia, (ED VA, Nov. 20, 2014, a Virginia federal district court dismissed a RLUIPA challenge to the city's refusal to grant a zoning variance to allow use of a leased building as a church.  The court held that while the landowner has standing, even though it did not engage in any religious activity, the denial of a variance does not impose a substantial burden on the religious exercise of the congregation that had entered an agreement to lease the building, subject to zoning approval.