Michigan RLUIPA suit

Paul Finkelman pfink at albanylaw.edu
Sat Nov 10 10:11:02 PST 2007


thanks Doug.  Now it makes perfect sense.  
Paul

Paul Finkelman
President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
     and Public Policy
Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, New York   12208-3494

518-445-3386 
pfink at albanylaw.edu
>>> Douglas Laycock <laycockd at umich.edu> 11/10/07 10:17 AM >>>


  In the absence of evidence that significant numbers in a local
congregation were doing what Marci describes (driving in before
sundset and parking for the entire Sabbath), the reliance on parking
regs would be pretextual.  See Orthodox Minyan v. Cheltenham Twp.
Zoning Board, 552 A.2d 772 (Pa. Comw. Ct. 1989), where the Township
mechanically applied its zoning rule of 1 parking space for every 3
seats to the Orthodox Minyan. No variance; irrelevant that most of
the Minyan walked to services.

  So the Minyan leased enough parking spaces from neighbors to meet
the formula.  Not good enough; you have to own the spaces and they
have to be adjacent to your property.  Finally the Minyan agreed to
build enough parking spaces on their own property.  Ah ha says the
Township:  all those parking spaces imply lots of traffic and you
will create a traffic problem.  Permit denied.  The court overturned
the zoning board on state law grounds.

  This is the most detailed example I know, but at the RLUIPA
hearings, there was a fair amount of testimony about deliberate
exclusion of Orthodox places of worship.  They did not all have such
happy endings.

  Quoting Paul Finkelman <pfink at albanylaw.edu>:

> I am sure it must because it is late at night and I have been
traveling
> all day, and so I am fogged in, but I can't quite figure out how a
> parking regulation would be used against Orthodox Jews wanting to
build
> in the neighborhood since, as Doug points out, they don't drive to
> services.  I hope Doug can elaborate on this one.
>
> Paul Finkelman
> President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
>      and Public Policy
> Albany Law School
> 80 New Scotland Avenue
> Albany, New York   12208-3494
>
> 518-445-3386
> pfink at albanylaw.edu
>>>> laycockd at umich.edu 11/09/07 10:54 PM >>>
>
>
>   Where are they parked?  "Around" the building on their own
> property? Or "around" the property on public streets that must be
> shared with others?
>
>   Reasonable parking regs generally prevail, as Ed says. But there
> are also cases where parking regs are plainly being used to get rid
> of somebody -- the most flagrant examples are Orthodox synagogues,
> where the worshipers can't drive on the Sabbath and so they never
> bring their cars at the same time.  And it is easy to imaging
parking
> regs where we might not be sure of motive, but the burden on the
> religious group is severe and the public benefit is trivial.
>
>   Quoting Ed Darrell <edarrell at sbcglobal.net>:
>
>> Unless they are worshipping cars, or unless their rites include
the
>
>> heavy parking of cars on streets, the religious order will have to
>> comply with local parking regulations.
>>
>> Where was the Thomas More Center when the Mormons in Virginia were
>> fighting this issue?  (Silly question -- the Thomas More Center
>> probably didn't exist prior to 1983.)
>>
>> There are safety and environmental concerns.  This is an old
zoning
>
>> issue.  Are there special conditions for this case that might
> change
>> the outcome?
>>
>> Ed Darrell
>> Dallas
>>
>> Ed Brayton <stcynic at crystalauto.com> wrote:   Message
>
http://www.journalgroup.com/Northville/6343/lawsuit-accuses-township-of-religious-harassment[1[1[1]]]
>>
>> The Thomas More Law Center  is filing suit against a Michigan
>> municipality for demanding that a religious  order apply for a
> zoning
>> variance because of all the cars parked at and around  their
>> facility. The TMLC says this violates the RLUIPA.  Thoughts?
>>
>> Ed  Brayton
>> _______________________________________________
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>
> Douglas Laycock
> Yale Kamisar Collegiate Professor of Law
> University of Michigan Law School
> 625 S. State St.
> Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215
>   734-647-9713
>
> Links:
> ------
> [1]
>
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> [2]
>
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>
> ----- End forwarded message -----
>
> Douglas Laycock
> Yale Kamisar Collegiate Professor of Law
> University of Michigan Law School
> 625 S. State St.
> Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215
>   734-647-9713
>
> Links:
> ------
> [1]
>
/horde/services/go.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.journalgroup.com%2FNorthville%2F6343%2Flawsuit-accuses-township-of-religious-harassment%5B1
> [2]
>
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>
>
>
>
>

Douglas Laycock
Yale Kamisar Collegiate Professor of Law
University of Michigan Law School
625 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215
  734-647-9713

Links:
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