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  • Assessing RLUIPAs Application to Buildng Codes and Aesthetic Land Use Regulation

    When Congress enacted the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in 2000, it intended to protect the religious exercise of churches and synagogues against government discrimination in zoning codes and from "the highly individualized and discretionary processes of land use regulation. Protection was intended not only for "small and unfamiliar" denominations, but for established religions as well. RLUIPA was also intended to be construed broadly to protect religious exercise "to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of this chapter and the Constitution." This broad construction is one of the basis upon which I will argue in this article that building codes and aesthetic or historic regulations should be subject to RLUIPA scrutiny. This will protect the religious exercise of religious institutions burdened by such land use regulation.