Land Use Law & Zoning Digest
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, religious accommodation, zoning
In Martin v. Corporation of the Presiding Bishop, 747 N.E. 2d 131 (Mass. 2001), the highest court in Massachusetts rules that the Dover Amendment, a state statutes that denies local government the authority to "prohibit, regulate, or restrict the use of land or structures for religious purposes..." authorized the town of Belmont to grant a church special permission to build a steeple for a newly built Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints temple that was taller than the local zoning provisions would normally allow. Since Martin involved a Massachusetts statute, normally the decision would evoke limited interest, and would have little precedential value in other states. Yet the U.S. Congress has ensured, in a new law, that many communities will soon face the same basic issue in the Martin case: Should zoning accommodate religious uses or vice- versa?
Weinstein, Alan C., "Case Commentary - Martin v. Corporation of the Presiding Bishop: Should Zoning Accommodate Religious Uses or Vice Versa?" (2001). Law Faculty Articles and Essays. 549.