Congregations vs. Preservationists in Struggle Over Historic Churches
The Catholic Church and other religious groups are facing hard times, with more churches to maintain than their dwindling numbers can support. But when they are clearly landmarks, should churches be allowed to sell off their building stock?
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.
Scientologists Fight For Expansion in Sandy Springs
In a close vote last week, the Sandy Springs, Georgia City Council approved a rezoning for a Church of Scientology but rejected the building expansion they were hoping for. The Church plans to sue under RLUIPA.
Anti-Hasidism or Preservation?
Chabad Lubavitch of Connecticut has filed suit against the Historic District Commission for denying its application to develop a property there into a center. The Commission said it would consider a revised plan, but Chabad says it's anti-Hasidism.
Jacksonville Baptists Denied Their Church, Sue City
The First Baptist Church of Mandarin applied to build a 249,000 sq. ft. complex in a rural area. They're suing the city in federal court, on the grounds that they're getting "unequal and discriminatory treatment."
Piscataway, New Jersey has a booming Muslim Center that wants to expand, including adding a new parking lot and adding a 45-ft. minaret. Locals are complaining about the impact to traffic, light pollution, and 'parking havoc.'
RLUIPA Ripeness Rule Reinforced
<p style="text-align: left"> The concept of ripeness in several realms is elusive. I have never figured out how to properly thump a melon at a grocery store, although I have made a thorough study of it. You might want to<a href="http://aces.nmsu.edu/CES/yard/1998/070698.html"> click here</a>, or <a href="http://www.boston.com/ae/food/articles/2006/08/09/is_a_melon_ripe_for_the_eating_heres_how_to_tell/">here</a>, or <a href="http://www.foodsubs.com/Fruitmel.html">here </a> for some guidance, none of which seems to work when it’s just me in a stare down with a cold, stone faced and silent honeydew. </p> <p style="text-align: left"> Just yesterday one of my younger children from what we call the “second litter” asked me at dinner how I could tell if a coconut was ripe. I paused, realized that I had no answer, and did what every good parent should do and asked instead why they weren’t eating their salad. Yes, attack and divert. </p> <p style="text-align: left"> You think melons and coconuts are tough — try ripeness in land use litigation.
What Happens When an Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Object
<p> The unstoppable force paradox is an exercise in logic that seems to come up in the law all too often. There is a Chinese variant. The Chinese word for “paradox” is literally translated as “spear-shield” coming from a story in a Third Century B.C. philosophy book, Han Fiez, about a man selling a sword he claimed could pierce any shield. He also was trying to sell a shield, which he said could resist any sword. He was asked the obvious question and could give no answer. </p> <p> The Washington Supreme Court broke the paradox between a 12-month moratorium during which the City of Woodinville considered sustainable development regulations for its R-1 residential area, and the efforts by the Northshore United Church of Christ (Northshore Church) to host a movable encampment for homeless people on its R-1 property. <a href="http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/805881.opn.pdf">City of Woodinville v. Northshore United Church of Christ (July 16, 2009)</a>. </p>
Blocked Church Expansion into Greenbelt Challenged
Church officials in Ventura County, California, are challenging a decision barring them from expanding into protected open space, arguing that federal law allows them exemptions from zoning controls.
Church Sues to Demolish Historic Church Building
The Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Washington, D.C., has filed suit against the city to remove the landmark designation on their building, which limits what can be done to alter the site -- or demolish it completely, which is the church's hope.
Norwalk Redevelopment Agency
City of Cotati
City of Austin Transportation Department
Rowan University's Department of Geography, Planning, & Sustainability
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
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