The primary burdens presented here—relocating or submitting a modified application—were not substantial, especially because Mesquite presented no evidence that other sites are unsuitable.RLUIPA Defense blog reports on the decision.
In Matter of Septimus v Board of Zoning Appeals for the Incorporated Village of Lawrence, (NY Nassau Co. Sup. Ct., Dec. 16, 2015), a New York trial court upheld a creative judgment by a Zoning Board of Appeals in a case in which a synagogue sought to have a restriction on weekday use of its building-- part of it original zoning arrangements-- lifted so that it could hold regular weekday services. Neighbors objected because of concern about traffic. The BZA lifted the restrictive covenant precluding weekday services for a one year trial period, with the issue to be re-evaluated after the year had passed. The court found that under RLUIPA the original ban on weekday use constitutes a substantial burden, and the BZA's trial approach is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest in maintaining the integrity of an established residential neighborhood. New York Law Journal reports on the decision.