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Thread: Extension of existing special land use - please help!

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
    Feb 2002

    Extension of existing special land use - please help!

    Please keep in mind that I know this falls under the RLUIPA, but I am unclear about the procedure that would need to be followed.

    We have a mosque in one of our residential neighhorhoods. Religious facilities would be allowed as a special use, however this one preexists the current zoning and so in the beginning they did not have to get a special use permit. So, its not considered nonconforming since it is allowed by zoning.

    They want to build a new mosque at the rear of the property. Do they need to get a special use permit?

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    I would say that yes, they do need a SUP based on your rules. At least around here, when you expand a nonconformity, the expansion must meet the requirements. In your case, a SUP would be necessary for the expansion to meet the requirements.

    Now, how RLUIPA affects this is probably a question for your City Attorney as I am no expert on that law. A Baptist Church in a nearby town had a ruling against them regarding expansion of their church, but I remember that it had some serious heath/safety/welfare issues that may have impacted the judgement.

    *Note* Please don't flame on me about regulating religious facilities. This is something I have a lot of heartburn about and haven't fully developed my personal beliefs about "how much is too much" when regulating these uses. :-S 8-|

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
    Jul 1998
    On the Mother River
    I would say yes, since it is a new structure. It sounds like one of those "not sure if you need one but lets do it to be safe" kind of things.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  4. #4
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    From the 2 sets of legislation I am familiar with (Canadian), I'd say, yes they do require an approval of some sort from the appropriate body. (Committee of Adjustment, Council, Commission, whatever)

    For safety and long range ease, I think I'd even recommend that they rezone the property to avoid future issues. Might even do it during a house keeping.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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