Landowner’s marina operation not legally nonconforming, but rather was limited, occasional, sporadic

January 26th, 2015

by Hannah Dankbar

Walworth County v West Rod Cottage Industries LLC
Wisconsin Court of Appeals, January 14, 2015

Fred’s Tap is located on Lake Beulah in Walworth County. It opened in 1961 and consists of two pieces of land divided by Stringers Bridge Road. The “tavern” parcel is adjacent to a channel leading into Lake Beulah, and the “lake” parcel consists of a cottage, garage, and parking area along the main body of Lake Beulah. Both properties have areas to moor boats. West Rod bought the land of Fred’s Tap in the early 2000s.

In 1971 Walworth County enacted a shoreline zoning ordinance (§ 74-179) which zoned the tavern parcel as B-3, Waterfront Business District. In this area ten or fewer boat rentals and “boat liveries” are allowed. Conditional uses allowed in B-3 include, “[t]averns and bars, [y]achting clubs and marinas, and boat liveries” (which the court assumes to be liveries operating with more than ten boats). The county zoned the lake parcel as C-4, Lowland Resource Conservation District. Marinas and boat liveries are prohibited in this district, but boating is allowed.

In 2012 the County issued a citation to West Rod for operating a boat marina/access cite in the C-4 zoning district.”  The trial court upheld the citation, and West Rod appealed.  The questions in this case are whether the use the County is trying to prevent was a use that lawfully existed when the zoning was first imposed upon the lake parcel, and if so, whether that use continued uninterrupted after the zoning ordinance was enacted.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recognized that a legal nonconforming use is (1) an active and actual use of the land and buildings that existed prior to the commencement of the zoning ordinance and (2) that has continued in the same or a related way until the present. The burden is on the property owner to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the nonconforming use existed at the time of the adoption of the ordinance and has continued since. This burden includes the requirement that the property owner show that the use was “so active and actual that it can be said he [or she] has acquired a ‘vested interest’ in its continuance.”

From this statement of the law the court concluded:

  • The leasing of boat slips is the “use” at issue;
  • The County has the burden to prove that Fred’s Tap was leasing boat slips and that such activity was not allowed without a conditional use permit as to the “tavern” parcel and not at all on the “lake” parcel; and
  • West Rod bears the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that its leasing of boat slips was an active and actual use that existed prior to 1971 and has continued as the same or a related use until the present such that it is a valid nonconforming use.

After chastising both West Rod and the County for “fundamental deficits” in their arguments, the court concluded that the County had met its burden to prove that Fred’s Tap was using its property to rent boats in 2011 in violation of the code, but that West Rod failed to meet its burden to show that a valid nonconforming use of the property existed.  The evidence at best showed a limited and occasional rental of boat slips as of 1971 and thereafter until 2010 when West Rod began large-scale boat slip rentals.  West Rod’s evidence may have been sufficient had the use at issue been the rental of boats (a “boat livery” business), but it was not sufficient to show that a marina was actively operating either prior to 1971 or in the years up to 2010.

Judgment for the County was affirmed.

Non-Conforming Uses, Wisconsin courts ,

State law authorizes Board of Elections to keep challenge to development plan off of ballot

January 21st, 2015

by Hannah Dankbar

State ex rel. Ebersole v. Delaware Cty. Bd. of Elections
Ohio Supreme Court, September 19, 2014

In June 2014 the City Council of Powell, Ohio approved Ordinance No. 2014-10, which was a development plan for property in downtown Powell. Three citizens circulated petitions to put three items on the  ballot November 2014: to block the Ordinance from taking effect, an initiative to pass an ordinance to repeal Ordinance No. 2014-10, and an amendment to the city charter that would nullify Ordinance No. 2014-10. The City Council approved the referendum and initiative, but the Delaware County Board of Elections refused to put it on the ballot.  The citizens sought a writ of mandamus to get the referendum on the ballot.

The Board of Elections validated the necessary amount of signatures for each thing in order to get it on the ballot. In August 2014 the board met to discuss the protests of the referendum and initiative. The board accepted that the referendum was administrative in nature and therefore not allowed, this held for the initiative as well and that the protest against both petitions on the grounds that the format of the petitions did not comply with the Powell City Charter and forms prescribed by the secretary of state. As a result, none of the actions were certified to make the November ballot. In September the realtors filed a mandamus action, which is denied.

When City Councils act in an administrative, rather than legislative, capacity, their resolutions and ordinances are not subject to referendum. The Board of Elections rejected the referendum petition because it believed that Ordinance No. 2014-10 was passed by the city council in its administrative capacity. The citizens argue that  (1) passing Ordinance 2014-10 was a legislative act, (2) a challenge to the substance of a referendum is unripe until the referendum is approved and (3) that the board has only ministerial duties in the referendum process and lacks authority to review the substance of the referendum.

(1) The test for determining whether an action is legislative or administrative is “whether the action taken is one enacting a law, ordinance, or regulation, or executing a law, ordinance, or regulation already in existence.” City ordinances that adopt final development plans pursuant to preexisting planned community development, without changing the zoning, are not subject to referendum. In fact, the Ohio Supreme Court has made it clear in prior cases that the Board of Elections is required to withhold the initiative and referendum from the ballot.  In the present case, Ordinance 2014-10 complied with the preexisting requirements for the Downtown Business District and the Downtown District Overlay District and did not require any zoning changes.

(2) The citizens alternatively argued that there is no “case or controversy” until the referendum and initiative have been passed.  Thus, the Board of Elections’ objection was premature.  However, the Board of Elections has an affirmative duty to review the content of proposed referenda and initiatives. The best, and only, time to fulfill this duty is before the election.

(3) The realtors argue that the Powell City Charter does not give the Board of Elections the authority to review the content of referenda or initiatives; rather their job is to certify the number of electors.  The court disagreed. The Powell charter is silent on the question of the board’s power to conduct protests, and therefore no conflict exists. Moreover, Article VI, Section 6.05 of the charter expressly states that where the charter is silent concerning referendum and initiative procedures, state law will govern. Under state law boards of elections are required to, ““[r]eview, examine, and certify the sufficiency and validity of petitions.” As set out in state law, the board was within its statutory authority to conduct the protest hearing.

The Ohio Supreme Court denied the writ filed by the citizens.

Elections, Ohio courts, Referenda ,

RV a permissible accessory use in R-1 district when principle use of lot is for “recreation”

January 19th, 2015

by Hannah Dankbar

Schultz v Mende, et al. and City of Madison Lake
Minnesota Court of Appeals, December 8, 2014

In July 2007 the Mendes applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build a boathouse on their property in the City of Madison Lake, Minnesota. The city council approved and issued the permit “with the condition that at the time of sale conditional use will be reviewed” and that the use follow all applicable provisions of the zoning code. In April 2008 the city found out that the Mendes were selling the property. The city sent a letter to remind the Mendes that the property could only be used as explicitly described in the CUP, and the CUP did not allow for human habitation of the property. Chapter 5, Subd. 4(b)(1)(D) of the city ordinance provides that boathouses cannot be used as a dwellings and cannot contain sanitary facilities.

In Spring 2008 Schultz bought the property from the Mendes believing that he could park a RV or camper on the property to sleep in while using the boathouse. The city told Schultz that, “since the conditional use was granted solely for a boat house and not for any type of residential use, parking a recreational vehicle on this property is a violation of the conditional use permit and an illegal use.” In February 2009, the city reiterated this statement. In August 2009 Schultz asked to amend the CUP; the city denied the application.

In response Schultz brought an action against the Mendes arguing that they misrepresented the use of property. The Mendes responded by filing a complaint against the city, saying that the city’s position was unconstitutional and unenforceable and asked for a declaratory ruling to allow for an RV on the property. The district court found that the zoning ordinance did not preclude the use of an RV on the property, the RV being “clearly accessory and incidental to the primary purpose of the property, which is recreation.” The city appealed the decision.

The property is in an R-1 residential district, which generally allows for “low-density, single family residences and directly related complimentary uses.” The General District Provisions prohibit an individual from dwelling or residing in an “accessory building.” An “accessory building” is defined as “[a] use incidental to and on the same lot as a principal use.” The property does not meet the minimum size requirements to meet the standard for single family housing.

The city considered the RV an accessory building. The district court disagreed with this definition, stating that “buildings” is limited to permanent structures. On appeal the city argued that the district court substituted their own definition for what is provided for in the ordinance. The Court of Appeals agreed that there is room for interpretation in the definitions provided by the ordinance; however, in a separate section of the ordinance “recreational vehicle” is defined as “a vehicular portable structure used for amusement, vacation or recreational activities.”  The Court of Appeals determined that implying that recreational vehicles are buildings, when recreational vehicle is specifically defined in the code is an improper interpretation of the ordinance.

The parties disagreed over the principal use of the property. Schultz and the Mendes say that the principal use is recreation, while the city claims it is the boathouse structure. The Court of Appeals agreed with the district court’s conclusion that the principal use is recreation. Given that the principal use of the property is recreation, the question then becomes whether the recreational vehicle is an allowable accessory use.  The city argued that the recreational vehicle could only be used for storage (and not sleeping) because the boathouse – a facility for storing boats – was the principal use.  Given the courts previous conclusion that the primary use was recreation, the city’s argument was inappropriate.  Under a plain reading of the ordinance, both RVs and boathouses are permissible accessory uses to the primary recreational use.  RVs are accessory uses as long as they carry a current registration and are in “operable condition.” Boat houses are also allowed as long as they are not “designed or used for human habitation” and do not “contain water supply or sewage treatment facilities.”

Because the zoning ordinances are ambiguous and the city’s interpretations leads to an “absurd result” the Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s ruling in favor of the Mendes.

 

 

Minnesota courts, Uncategorized, Zoning ordinance interpretation , , ,

US Supreme Court issues opinion on “in writing” requirement of Federal Telecommunications Act

January 14th, 2015

Today the US Supreme Court issued its ruling concerning the “in writing” requirement of the Federal Telecommunications Act.  My previous post explaining the case, and the disagreement among the federal circuit courts, is here.

by Gary Taylor

T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, Georgia
United States Supreme Court, January 14, 2015

T-Mobile South submitted an application to build a 108-foot cell tower on a vacant lot in a residential neighborhood in the city of Roswell, Georgia. The company proposed a tower designed to look like a pine tree, branches and all, though this one would have stood at least twenty feet taller than surrounding trees. The city’s zoning department found that the application met the requirements of the relevant portions of the city code, and recommended approval of the application subject to several conditions. The city council then held a public hearing at which a T-Mobile South representative and members of the public spoke. Five of the six members of the city council then made statements, with four expressing concerns and one of those four formally moving to deny the application. That motion passed unanimously. Two days later, the city sent T-Mobile South a letter stating that its application had been denied. The letter did not provide reasons for the denial, but did explain how to obtain the minutes from the hearing. At that time, only “brief minutes” were available; the city council did not approve detailed minutes recounting the council members’ statements until its next meeting, twenty-six days later.

T-Mobile filed suit, alleging that the council’s decision violated the “in writing” requirement of the Federal Telecommunications Act (FTA) that says that a denial of an application for a wireless facility “shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record.” The District Court agreed with T-Mobile.  On appeal the Eleventh Circuit reversed.  Noting that T-Mobile had received a denial letter and possessed a transcript of the hearing that it arranged to have recorded, the Eleventh Circuit found that this was sufficient to satisfy the “in writing” requirement.

The US Supreme Court first determined that “supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record” imposes upon local governments a requirement to provide reasons when they deny applications to build cell towers.  It would be extremely difficult for a reviewing court to carry out its review of a local decision if localities were not obligated to state their reasons in writing. The Court went on to stress, however, “that these rea­sons need not be elaborate or even sophisticated, but rather…simply clear enough to enable judicial review.” In this regard, it is clear that Congress meant to use the phrase “substantial evidence” simply as an administrative “term of art” that describes how an administrative record is to be judged by a reviewing court.”  It is not meant to create a substantive standard that must be proved before denying applications.

Local governments are not required to provide their reasons in the denial notice itself, but may state those reasons with sufficient clarity in some other written record such as in detailed minutes. At the same time, the Court agreed with the Solicitor General’s brief that “the local government may be better served by including a separate statement containing its reasons….If the locality writes a short statement providing its reasons, the locality can likely avoid prolonging the litigation – and adding expense to the taxpayer, the companies, and the legal system – while the parties argue about exactly what the sometimes voluminous record means.”

The Court further determined, however, that because the FTA requires the recipient of a denial to seek judicial review within 30 days from the date of the denial, the denial and written reasons, if contained in separate documents, must be issued “essentially contemporaneously.”

Because an entity may not be able to make a considered decision whether to seek judicial re­view without knowing the reasons for the denial of its application, and because a court cannot review the denial without knowing the locality’s reasons, the locality must provide or make available its written reasons at essentially the same time as it communicates its denial.
The Court observed that this rule ought not to unduly burden localities given the range of ways in which localities can provide their reasons.  Noting that the FCC “shot clock” declaratory ruling [discussed in the blog here] allows localities 90 days to act on applications to place new antennas on existing towers and 150 days to act on other siting applications, the Court suggested that “if a locality is not in a position to provide its reasons promptly, the locality can delay the issuance of its denial within this 90- or 150-day window, and instead release it along with its reasons once those reasons are ready to be provided. Only once the denial is issued would the 30-day commencement-of-suit clock begin.”

The Court concluded that it was acceptable for Roswell to provide its denial and written reasoning (in the form of detailed minutes) in separate documents, but did not issue these documents “essentially contemporaneously.”   As such, the city did not comply with the statutory obligations of the FTA.  The Court remanded the case to the Eleventh Circuit to address the question of the appropriate remedies.

cell towers, Telecommunications towers, United States Supreme Court , ,

Non-conforming use protections may apply to entire mobile home park, not individual home sites

January 12th, 2015

by Gary Taylor

Heck v. City of Pacific and City of Pacific Board of Zoning Adjustment
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, October 28, 2014

The Hecks have operated Pacific Mobile Home Manor on the same tract of land since 1983.  Within Pacific Manor is a mobile home pad addressed as 303 South Second Street, which is positioned approximately 14 feet from the pad to its south, and the same distance from the pad to its north.  When renters moved out with their mobile home in the late 2000s, the Hecks attempted to install a new mobile home of the same size on the vacant pad around two years later.  The city of Pacific, however, informed the Hecks that the new mobile home could not be placed upon the pat unless they obtained a variance from the city code provision – adopted in 1996 – that requires 20-foot spacing between mobile homes or other structures.  Mr. Heck testified before the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) that he was under the impression that he already had a variance for the pad because the pad and mobile home on the pad were permitted when he bought Pacific Manor in 1983.  The ZBA voted to deny the variance, and the Hecks appealed.

The Hecks argued that Pacific Manor existed in its present configuration, including the spacing of mobile home pads, prior to the adoption of the 20-foot spacing requirement in 1996; in other words, that their legal nonconforming use applies to the mobile home park as a whole and not on a “per pad” basis.  Mr.  Heck testified “I mean I can’t really move all the trailers out and get rid of them and totally reorganize that all.  So I’m just trying to maintain the property and keep it as nice as I can.”

The city, on the other hand, argued that even if the present configuration and spacing of pads in Pacific Manor was a lawful nonconforming use, it has since been extinguished by “structural alteration” – moving the old mobile home off the pad.  Furthermore, the city argued that the nonconforming use was abandoned because the pad sat vacant without a mobile home for two years.

The Court of Appeals concluded that the BZA did not analyze the case as a nonconforming use case; rather, the BZA was simply concerned with whether the Hecks’ application met the standard for a variance.  “A nonconforming use differs from a variance.”  The Court of Appeals remanded the case to the ZBA to hear evidence on the issue of whether the Hecks are entitled to continue a lawful nonconforming use, noting that “if in fact the Hecks have continued their lawful nonconforming use of Pacific Manor, the spacing requirements [of the city code] do not apply and no variance is needed.”

Missouri Courts, Mobile and manufactured homes, Non-Conforming Uses, Variances , , ,

Des Moines IA Water Works votes to sue 3 counties over nitrate levels in Raccoon River

January 9th, 2015

On Thursday the Des Moines Water Works board moved forward with its plans to sue the supervisors in Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties over the nitrate levels in the North Raccoon River.  The lawsuit targets several drainage districts that are managed by the three counties. Weekly samples taken from the river in Sac County since March have shown high concentrations of nitrates, which have triggered costly treatment operations downstream at the Des Moines Water Works facility.  Nitrates occur naturally in the soil, but can spike in water when manure and other fertilizers drain into waterways. The Water Works has been running its denitrification facility since early December to reduce the nitrate levels to EPA-permissible levels, at a cost of $4,000 per day.

The lawsuit would be filed in federal court under the U.S. Clean Water Act, which grants regulatory exemptions to nonpoint source discharges, including field tile systems on individual farms.  Water Works officials contend that organized drainage districts shouldn’t be exempt from regulations.  This case could have far-reaching implications for the control of nonpoint source pollutants from agricultural lands.

The full Des Moines Register story is here.

current news ,

Platted village streets constitute “public highway” for purpose of defense to acquiescence claim

January 7th, 2015

by Hannah Dankbar

Haynes v Village of Beulah
Michigan Court of Appeals, December 9, 2014

The Haynes argue that they are entitled to two strips of land within the platted rights-of-way of Lake Street and Commercial Avenue in the Village of Beulah citing the theory of acquiescence. The Haynes own Lots 10,11 and part of Lot 7 in Block 2. These lots are bordered by Lake Street on the northwest side and Commercial Avenue on the southwest side. Before 1968 the prior owners of the Haynes’ property installed railroad ties along Lake Street, separating the portion of the road used for travel from the grass and trees. On the southwest, a rock wall was installed in the 1950s to separate the part of Commercial Avenue used for travel from landscaping plants, a portion of the Haynes’ driveway, a maple tree and a strip of grass owned by the Haynes.

In 2012, the Village of Beulah introduced plans to create angled parking, a new sidewalk and a streetscape in the platted right-of-way of each street and would occupy land owned by the Haynes. The Haynes brought suit to prevent this action. The trial court granted the Village of Beulah’s motion for summary disposition based on MCL 247.190.

MCL 247.190 provides as follows:

 All public highways for which the right of way has at any time been dedicated, given or purchased, shall be and remain a highway of the width so dedicated, given or purchased, and no encroachments by fences, buildings or otherwise which may have been made since the purchase, dedication or gift nor any encroachments which were within the limits of such right of way at the time of such purchase, dedication or gift, and no encroachments which may hereafter be made, shall give the party or parties, firm or corporation so encroaching, any title or right to the land so encroached upon.

Plaintiffs argued that MCL 247.190 does not apply to platted village streets or property acquiescence claims.  The issue in this case is the definition of “public highways,” which is not defined in the statute. “Highway” has been defined through multiple cases and multiple legal dictionaries before the enactment of MCL 247.190. These definitions encompass a broad reading of the term “highway.” Because of this, the Court of Appeals found that the trial court did not err in broadly construing the term to include village streets.

The Haynes also argued that MCL 247.190 does not apply to property acquiescence claims, but the Court of Appeals disagreed. MCL 247.190 provides, “no encroachments” on a public highway “shall give the party or parties, firm or corporation so encroaching, any title or right to the land so encroached upon.” Nothing in the statute permits the court to distinguish between different legal theories used to assert a private right or claim to any portion of a public highway.  A claim for acquiescence constitutes an encroachment.

The Haynes also argued that the unimproved portions of platted right-of-ways are not “public highways” that are entitled to protection under MCL 247.190. The Court of Appeals disagreed with this assertion, as well.  It is sufficient for the spending of public funds on a road in a dedicated right-of-way to constitute public acceptance of the entire width, and therefore have the entire width constitute “public highway,” even if the municipality never improves the specific strips of land within the right-of-way.

Judgment for the Village of Beulah was affirmed.

Highways, Michigan courts, Plats, Property law, public roads and highways , , ,

Registration for 2015 Planning and Zoning workshops…and Twitter

January 5th, 2015

Two announcements.  First, we are now on Twitter  @PlanningBLUZ.  Look to the right of this post and click to follow!

Second, registration for the Spring 2015 Planning and Zoning for Local Officials workshops is now open.  The dates and locations are:

March 23 (Monday) – Council Bluffs, Hilton Garden Inn, 2702 MidAmerica Drive
March 24 (Tuesday) – Fort Dodge, Quality Inn, 2001 Hwy 169 South
March 30 (Monday) – Dubuque, Hotel Julien Dubuque, 200 Main Street
March 31 (Tuesday) – Waterloo, Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial Street
April 6 (Monday) – Davenport, Davenport Public Library, Eastern Avenue Branch, 6000 Eastern Avenue
April 7 (Tuesday) – Fairfield, Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, 200 North Main
April 13 (Monday) – Johnston, Hilton Garden Inn, 8600 Northpark Drive

All workshops begin with registration and a light supper at 5:30 p.m.  The program begins at 6:00 p.m. and concludes by 8:45 p.m. The registration fee is $65 per individual.  This fee is reduced to $50 per individual if a city or county registers 5 or more officials to attend.  The fee covers the workshop instruction, workshop materials, and supper.

Note that we have moved exclusively to an online registration system for the workshops. For more information and the link to online registration, click on the “Intro to Planning and Zoning Workshops” tab at the top of this page.  When you register you will have the option to pay by credit card, or to be invoiced via email.

Education/Conferences

Existing landscaping insufficient to meet ordinance buffer standards

December 29th, 2014

by Hannah Dankbar

Schall v City of Williamston
Michigan Court of Appeals, December 4, 2014

William and Melanie Schall brought suit to compel their neighbors, D&G Equipment, Inc., owned by Elden and Jolene Gustafson to comply with the City of Williamston’s zoning ordinance that requires a special use permit to allow outdoor display of farm implements for sale.  The ordinance also requires a landscaped buffer zone to shield plaintiffs’ property from the sales display. The Schalls sought a writ of mandamus to compel the city and its contract zoning administrator to enforce the ordinance. The trial court found that the Gustafson’s use of their property violated the city’s zoning ordinance and ordered for the zoning administrator to enforce the ordinance.

As an initial matter the Court of Appeals affirmed that the Schalls had standing to bring the suit.  As abutting neighbors, the Schells “have a real interest in the subject matter of the controversy.  Nothing in state law indicates that private parties are limited in their ability to ask the court to abate a nuisance arising out of the violation of a zoning ordinance.

The requirements for a landscape buffer are defined in § 74-7.101 as “a minimum 15 feet wide” and “a staggered double row of closely spaced evergreens (i.e., no farther than 15 feet apart) which can be reasonably expected to form a complete visual barrier at least six feet in height within three years of installation.” The planning commission can only modify this requirement with “a written request identifying the relevant landscape standard, the proposed landscaping, how the proposed landscaping deviates from the landscaping standard, and why the modification is justified.”

In the present case, there was no “written request” to modify the ordinance standards. Even assuming that the site plan and the zoning administrator’s written and oral submissions to the planning commission were sufficient to meet this standard, and that the modified landscape included utilizing existing vegetation as part of the buffer, it must “achieve the same effect as the required landscaping.” The minimum standards of the ordinance apply except if the standard is reached with existing vegetation.

At the time of the lawsuit the buffer did not meet the standard, but the question became whether the buffer will meet the standard in three years. Based on its review of the expert testimony the Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s conclusion that the landscaping could not meet the standards of the ordinance and, therefore, that the Gustafsons were in violation of the zoning ordinance.

The zoning ordinance is clear and unambiguous and the trial court did not err in granting  summary disposition by finding no material disputed fact that defendants’ buffer failed to comply with the zoning ordinance and therefore was an abatable nuisance per se.

 

Michigan courts, Standing to sue, Zoning enforcement, Zoning ordinance interpretation , , ,

News from Minnesota: Minneapolis suburb settles RLUIPA suit

December 23rd, 2014

The US Justice Department and the city of St. Anthony, Minnesota have settled a RLUIPA lawsuit stemming from the denial of a conditional use permit to establish a mosque.  A group of Somali immigrants formed the Abu Huraira Islamic Center in 2009 in hopes of establishing a worship center in St. Anthony.  In June 2012, the St. Anthony City Council voted 4 to 1 to deny the conditional use permit for the Islamic center, despite a recommendation by the St. Anthony Planning Commission to approve the project. At the council meeting, several St. Anthony citizens voiced their objections to the Islamic center in a way that, Islamic center proponents asserted, clearly exposed the real reason for the delay and ultimate rejection.  The residents’ comments included: “There is no other religion in the world that condones violence. Islam is evil,” and, “Where did you come from? [Go] change your own country.”

According to Fox News 9 in the Twin Cities the terms of the settlement agreement include:

– The permit will allow Abu-Huraira to use the St. Anthony Business Center for religious worship.

– St. Anthony Village will not treat Abu-Huraira or any other religious groups in a discriminatory manner through the application of its zoning laws.

– Elected leaders, city managers and certain city employees will participate in educational training about requirements of RLUIPA.

– St. Anthony Village will make RLUIPA information available to the public through its website and will report periodically to the Justice Department.

The dispute was originally discussed in our blogpost here.

current news, RLUIPA ,