Zoning and Landmark Regulation of Religious Institutions after City of Boerne v. Flores
Zoning & Planning Law Report
Religious Freedom Restoration Act, zoning, landmark regulations, historic preservation
RFRA was enacted four years ago to "overturn" the Supreme Court's controversial 1990 decision in Employment Division, Department of Human Resources v. Smith because, according to the Act's proponents, that case made it too difficult for plaintiffs to prevail on claims that government regulations substantially burdened their religious practices. The constitutionality of the statute was immediately called into question and last term the Supreme Court struck it down in City of Boerne v. Flores. An analysis of cases involving challenges to landmark and zoning regulations affecting religious institutions before and during RFRA indicates that while challenges to general zoning regulations are unlikely to be successful in the future, litigants can expect greater success in challenging landmark designations.
Weinstein, Alan C., "Zoning and Landmark Regulation of Religious Institutions after City of Boerne v. Flores" (1997). Law Faculty Articles and Essays. 559.