Friday, March 02, 2012

Pennsylvania Church Loses Zoning Challenge

In First Korean Church of New York v. Cheltenham Township Zoning Hearing Board, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25968 (ED PA, Feb. 29, 2012), a Pennsylvania federal district court granted summary judgment to defendants in a lawsuit by First Korean Church that had been prevented by township zoning ordinances from using a 33.8 acre property for a church and seminary. The property, purchased by the church at a sheriff's sale, formerly housed another seminary. Plaintiff argues that a series of zoning actions and amendments since 1998 violated RLUIPA as well as the 1st and 14th Amendments. The court disagreed.