Thursday, December 24, 2015

Illinois Nuns Sue To Challenge Zoning Denial

A federal lawsuit was filed last week by an order of Catholic nuns to challenge the denial of a conditional use permit by McHenry County, Illinois. Fraternit√© Notre Dame already has a monastery, church, seminary, convent, retreat center, bakery, printing press and cemetery on its 95 acres of property. It now wants to add a barn in order to build a commercial kitchen, process grapes and brew beer.  It also wants to add a school with attached dormitory; nursing home with hospice services; and gift shop and tasting area to sell pastries, religious and inspirational articles, and its own wine and beer. The complaint (full text) in Fraternit√© Notre Dame, Inc. v. County of McHenry, (ND IL, filed 12/16/2015), contends that the denial of zoning approval violates RLUIPA as well as the equal protection clauses of the Illinois and federal constitutions.  Northwest Herald reports on the lawsuit.