Circuit Allows School Expansion| Under Religious Land Use Act

    NEW YORK (CN) – The Second Circuit upheld the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, agreeing that the Village of Mamaroneck’s zoning laws cannot bar a Jewish private school from expanding.
The 400-student Westchester Day School sought a permit to renovate and expand its school to include new classrooms, a learning center and labs. “All of (the rooms) were to be used from time to time for religious education and practice,” the ruling states. The zoning board voted 3-2 to rescind its unanimous finding that the $12 million expansion project would not harm the environment. The court said the rescission “imposed a substantial burden” on the school’s religious freedom because it was arbitrary and capricious, and took away the school’s chance to amend its application to mitigate any adverse effects on public health, safety and welfare. See ruling in Westchester Day School v. Village of Mamaroneck.

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