Saturday, March 21, 2009

Settlement Terms Disclosed In "Universal Love and Music" RLUIPA Suit

The terms of a previously confidential settlement agreement in a RLUIPA lawsuit have now become public with the filing of the 12-page settlement in a Pennsylvania federal court. The suit also raised 1st Amendment claims. The Church of Universal Love and Music sued Fayette County, Pennsylvania which had denied it zoning permission to continue to use property in an agricultural area for religious concerts. The county zoning board claimed that Church founder William Pritts was operating a music business, not a church. (See prior posting.) Yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says that under the settlement, the Church will host no more than 6 weekend events and 6 Saturday-only events each year, with a maximum crowd size of 1,500 at each event. Programs may not start before noon and must end by 11 p.m. Pritts also agreed to various requirements for security, parking, camping and bathroom facilities, and a ban on any public nudity. The county will also pay Pritts $75,000 in damages.