We often receive requests from shuls and other religious organizations that have questions about what sort of local approval is needed for them to open, build or expand, and operate.  We also receive requests for guidance from those facing opposition from local officials regarding building or expanding a shul, hosting religious services in a private home, and other religious land use questions.  In this section we provide some legal guidance regarding these issues.  We have provided the following documents:  A Brief Guide to Religious Land Use (for those seeking a short description of basic information); an In-Depth Guide to Religious Land Use Laws and Issues (for those seeking more information about the land use approval process and the laws that regulate it), and the full text of the federal Religious Land Use Act (RLUIPA), which can be very helpful when bringing a legal challenge to a locality’s refusal to approve a religious land use.  In almost all cases, we urge those facing opposition from local officials to consult with a competent land use attorney, and we can provide referrals to such attorneys.  Contact us at law@agudah.org.  Also on this page are some amicus briefs Agudath Israel filed in religious land use cases where the court ruled in favor of the religious land use.

A Brief Guide to Religious Land Use Laws and Issues

An In-Dept Guide to Religious Land Use

Full Text of the Federal Religious Land Use Act (RLUIPA)

Tenafly Eruv COLPA Amicus Brief

Bikur Cholim COLPA Amicus Brief