I've run across two interesting articles in this week's news, both about local/county governments denying special permits to religious institutions for developing religious use structures.
San Francisco Chronicle: Christian school loses case based on religion
Hartford Courant: Town vs. Buddhists
Both articles refer to the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act which apparently limits the power of local permitting boards to restrict development that would interfere with religious practice. I don't know anything about this act and am wondering if folks at Cyburbia have any experience with it and which people's opinions are? As a default I tend to fear the intrusion of government in to any religious affairs, but as a planner I understand that some uses (religious or otherwise) simply aren't appropriate in certain areas.
What do folks think about these?