Friday, December 08, 2017

Rabbinical College Wins Challenge To Zoning and Environmental Laws

In Congregation Rabbinical College of Tartikov, Inc. v. Village of Pomona, NY, (SD NY, Dec. 7, 2017), a New York federal district court in a 112-page opinion held that various zoning and environmental regulations enacted by the Village of Pomona violate the rights of plaintiff which is seeking to build a rabbinical college, on-campus housing and related religious facilities on a 100-acre piece of land which it owns.  The court held that plaintiff had proven that the challenged laws were enacted with a discriminatory purpose to "thwart the expansion of the orthodox/ Hasidic community.  The challenged laws were found to violate the Equal Protection Clause, the state and federal Free Exercise Clauses, RLUIPA's non-discrimination provisions, and the Fair Housing Act.  the court also concluded that the challenged laws imposed a substantial burden on plaintiff's religious exercise in violation of RLUIPA.  Lohud reports on the decision.