Faith-based recovery shelter loses RLUIPA challenge to zoning and fire code enforcement

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Affordable Recovery Housing v. City of Blue Island, (ND IL, July 13, 2012), an Illinois federal district court denied a faith-based recovery and housing facility a preliminary injunction it sought to prevent enforcement against it of Blue Island, Illinois’ zoning and fire codes.  Plaintiff claimed that the city’s enforcement activity violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and Illinois’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The court held, however, that neither the requirement to obtain a special use permit to operate the extensive residential and training facility in an area zoned for residential usage, nor the requirement to install a sprinkler system, imposed a substantial burden on plaintiff.