Summary Judgment Denied To Defendants In RLUIPA Zoning Case
In Liberty Temple Full Gospel Church, Inc. v. Village of Bolingbrook, (ND IL, April 12, 2012), an Illinois federal district court refused to grant summary judgment to defendants in a RLUIPA case in which the parties disagreed over what the zoning designation was for the area in which a church leased land on which it wished to build. The city claimed that the area is not zoned for churches, and that the zoning designation of the area was merely incorrectly left off the county's zoning map. The court said:
This case, then, turns on the issue of what the property leased was zoned: B-2 (Community Retail) or B-4 (Commercial Urban Development). Both sides agree churches are allowed in the latter, but not in the former. If it is the former, the church was not substantially burdened merely by the fact that it was not allowed to locate wherever it chose. If it is zoned B-4, the Village’s refusal to accept building permit application and architectural drawings, and forcing the church to either apply for a SUP [special use permit] or go to court, may have substantially burdened the Plaintiff in violation of RLUIPA.