This week, RLUIPA Defense continues its effort to aggregate important new stories reflecting the intersection of religion, land use and local government.

  • Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis – Indiana’s pot-smoking church founded by Bill Levin – has been incorporated by the IRS as a tax-exempt religious organization. Mr. Levin, also known as the

While the holiday season is still several months away, nativity scenes are back in the news.  What nativity scene discussion would be complete without adorable baby, fanged Jesus?  On New Year’s Eve 2014, we reported about the zombie nativity scene created by haunted house worker Jasen Dixon in which a crowned wise man presents baby,

In a decision that should be of interest to many of our readers, the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a federal district court’s ruling that an ordinance in the City of St. Johns, Michigan (City) prohibiting the use of charitable donation bins likely violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A summary of Planet Aid

On April 8, 2015, the Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association is hosting the webinar “Ethical Rules and Considerations for Planners, Planning Commissioners, and Lawyers.”  This program may be of interest to many of our readers.  While ethics always matter in the planning context, they may be especially critical in the context

On March 31, the Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association is hosting the upcoming webinar “Lessons from the Sage Grouse: Impacts of the Endangered Species Act on Local Land Use Planning” that may be of interest to our readers.  Here’s a blurb about the program:

Participants will learn the importance of fully

The City of Dallas is suing Congregation Toras Chaim, Inc. (“CTC”), a small Jewish Orthodox synagogue that operates out of a private residential home, to enforce the City’s local code and require the synagogue to obtain a certificate of occupancy (“CO”).  Reportedly, up to 25 congregants attend religious worship services at the synagogue on the

On February 27, 2015, Hiram (Ted) Carey, Karla Chaffee, and Evan Seeman were the featured speakers at the Touro Law Center’s Land Use & Sustainable Development Law Institute’s inaugural “Bagels with the Boards” CLE. The program was largely attended by local government lawyers, who learned about techniques that local governments may use to avoid, mitigate,

RLUIPA Defense has had a makeover! The authors of RLUIPA Defense will continue to bring you breaking news and analysis of cases and controversies influencing the confluence of religion and land use—but now with a more refined, easy to use format. No need to worry, because our archive of resources, library of cases, and older

On February 5, 2015, the American Bar Association’s State & Local Government Law Section sponsored the program “Religious Land Use Litigation Since 2000,” held in Houston, Texas. I participated in the program, along with Daniel Dalton of Dalton & Tomich, Dean Patricia Salkin of Touro Law School, and Noel Sterett of Mauck & Baker. The

The recent issue of West’s Zoning and Planning Law Report features an article by Evan Seeman that will be of special interest to our readers: RLUIPA Defense Tactics; How to Avoid & Defend Against RLUIPA Claims.  The article is available here.  Early reviews of the article include these:

  • “An excellent article for the municipal