Saturday, September 25, 2021

Zoning Ordinance Violates Equal Terms Provision of RLUIPA

In The Church at Jackson v. Hinds County, Mississippi, (SD MS, Sept. 23, 2021), a Mississippi federal district court held that the equal terms provision of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act is violated by provisions on Agricultural Districts in Hinds County's zoning ordinance. The court issued a preliminary injunction, holding that the ordinance treats religious assemblies on less than equal terms with nonreligious assemblies, specifically recreational facilities. Recreational facilities are permitted unconditionally to locate in areas zoned Agricultural, while religious institutions are required to obtain a Special Use Permit in order to do so.