Thursday, August 04, 2011

Justice Department Settles With California City In RLUIPA Zoning Case

The Department of Justice announced yesterday that it has entered a settlement agreement with the city of Walnut, California in a lawsuit claiming the city violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act when, in 2008, it denied a conditional use permit to the Chung Tai Zen Center that wanted to build a temple on land it owned.  The denial led the Zen Center to move to another facility in Pamona.  Under the agreement, which must still received court approval, the city, in the future, will not impose differential zoning or building requirements on houses of worship. It will clarify the zoning appeals process for houses of worship. Also various city officials and employees will receive RLUIPA training. (See prior related posting.)