RLUIPA and the Mosque-Building Controversy

The recent controversies surrounding the building of mosques in cities across America have their resolution in one simple acronym: RLUIPA.

Read Time: 1 minute

September 6, 2010, 1:00 PM PDT

By Nate Berg


"The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, whose initials are commonly pronounced Ruh-LOO-pa, was approved unanimously by Congress in 2000. Its chief sponsor was Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah.

The law sets a high bar for any government action that would impose zoning or other restrictions on a religious institution. Any such action must serve a 'compelling government interest' while also being 'the least restrictive means' of furthering that interest, the law says."

Many land use law experts have argued that RLUIPA offers the legal guidance for how these sorts of controversies can be resolved. Despite the protections offered through the law, opponents of mosque projects remain vocal and powerful.

Friday, September 3, 2010 in The New York Times

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

View of stone-paved street with pedestrians and "Farmers Market" neon sign on left and old buildings on right in Seattle, Washington

Push and Pull: The Link Between Walkability and Affordability

The increased demand for walkable urban spaces could make them more and more exclusionary if cities don’t pursue policies to limit displacement and boost affordability.

January 27, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Crosswalk with pedestrians in front of four-story red brick buildings in New Haven, Connecticut

Opinion: Connecticut Vision Zero Bill A Step in the Right Direction

The proposed legislation could energize efforts to eliminate fatal crashes and fix the structural flaws that make roads inherently more dangerous.

33 minutes ago - CT News Junkie

View of Tacoma, Washington with Mount Rainier in background

Tacoma Developing New Housing Policy

The city’s Home in Tacoma plan is designed to address the region’s growth and rising housing prices, but faces local backlash over density and affordability concerns.

February 2 - The Urbanist

Green alley under construction

Green Alleys: A New Paradigm for Stormwater Management

Rather than shuttling stormwater away from the city and into the ocean as quickly as possible, Los Angeles is now—slowly—moving toward a ‘city-as-sponge’ approach that would capture and reclaim more water to recharge crucial reservoirs.

February 2 - Curbed