Thursday, August 09, 2018

Church's RLUIPA Zoning challenge Can Move Ahead

In Redemption Community Church v. City of Laurel, Maryland, (D MD, Aug. 8, 2018), a Maryland federal district court refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a small Christian church challenging the city's zoning regulations that require houses of worship located on less than one acre in a commercial zone to obtain a special zoning exception.  The church planned to operate a non-profit coffee house and a house of worship from the same property. The court held that the church had adequately stated claims for violation of RLUIPA's equal terms and non-discrimination provisions as well as various provisions of the 1st and 14th Amendments.