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Church Gets Preliminary Injunction Under RLUIPA For Zoning Exclusion

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“In Hope Rising Community Church v. Municipality of Penn Hills, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160148 (WD PA, Nov. 30, 2015), a Pennsylvania federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160852, Oct. 28, 2015) and granted a preliminary injunction to a church that was ordered to stop holding worship services in a warehouse building it leased in an area zoned only for “Light Industrial” uses.  The city also denied a zoning variance.  The court concluded that the city’s zoning law violates RLUIPA’s “equal terms” provision by not allowing churches as a permitted use in areas zoned “Light Industrial,” given the other types of uses that are allowed. The court concluded that:

the City has failed to show how a religious institution would cause greater harm to the Light Industrial District and its objectives than parks, playgrounds and educational institutions [which are permitted].”

You can learn more about this issue here.


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