Friday, April 02, 2021

Synagogues Lose Suit Over Repealed Zoning Law

In Orthodox Jewish Coalition of Chestnut Ridge v. Village of Chestnut Ridge, New York, (SD NY, March 31, 2021), a New York federal district court dismissed a suit by Orthodox Jewish synagogues contending that the village's former zoning law violated RLUIPA, the free exercise clause and the New York constitution. The court held RLUIPA's safe harbor provision protects municipalities that correct their laws from damage suits under RLUIPA. It also dismissed plaintiffs' equal protection claim because they failed to show that the old zoning law was enacted with discriminatory intent. The court found that claims for prospective relief were moot and that certain other claims were not ripe.