Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Building Code Is Not Zoning Law Under RLUIPA

In St. Paul’s Foundation and Shrine of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker, Patron of Sailors, Brewers and Repentant Thieves v. Baldacci, (D MA, May 21, 2021), a Massachusetts federal district court held that revocation of a building permit to assure compliance with the state building code is not covered by RLUIPA.  Plaintiff, a monastery, sought to renovate a building to provide a space to brew beer, a chapel and and a fellowship hall.  The court concluded that a building code is not a land use regulation or zoning law. Moreover, there was no substantial burden on religious exercise.