Friday, March 10, 2017

Church May Move Ahead With RLUIPA Objections To Denial of Demolition Permit

Village of West Dundee v. First United Methodist Church of West Dundee, (IL App., March 7, 2017), involves a church's attempt to obtain a permit to demolish a building located in the Village's Historic District.  The Church used the building as a parsonage until it fell into disrepair. The Village sought to have the church repair the building instead of demolish it.  The Church, in a counter complaint, alleged that denial of a demolition permit imposed a substantial burden in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, amounted to unequal treatment under RLUIPA and constituted an inverse condemnation. The appeals court held that the trial court should not have dismissed the Church's counter complaint because it sufficiently stated several claims and was not barred on failure-to-exhaust grounds.