The Second Circuit recently issued a Summary Order in Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester v. City of Yonkers Landmark Preservation Board (2d Cir. 2018) detailing what zoning relief a plaintiff must seek at the local level before filing suit. The case involved the Islamic Community Center of Mid Westchester’s (ICCMW) claims that it had been the target of religious discrimination when the property it purchased to develop with a mosque was designated as a landmark by the City of Yonkers Landmark Preservation Board. Four months later, ICCMW sued, alleging the landmark designation violated its First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion and RLUIPA.
The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (also known as “ripeness”), since ICCMW did not apply for a certificate of appropriateness to develop the property as a mosque. Continue Reading