LAND USE CONFLICTS INVOLVING RELIGION
Land use battles between churches and local planning authorities are on the rise. The Church State Council has counseled institutions such as churches, colleges, and religious radio stations on the application of Federal law to the land use process.
In 2000, Congress enacted the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, known by its acronym, RLUIPA [pronounced “ru-loo-pah.”] For the first time, Federal law recognized that constitutional concerns apply when local governments act to restrict church development projects, and other uses. Congress documented a wide array of abuses, justifying passage of the bill.
Under this bill, many churches have found relief from local planning officials who unfairly block or restrict churches in their use of land.
If your church is involved in a building project, or seeking to buy land, you need to consult with land use legal experts before you sign contracts and commit funds, to ensure that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities.
You may also call or contact us us to obtain a copy of a booklet explaining RLUIPA.