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• A New York state appeals court ruled that a city acted improperly in denying a synagogue's application for a special use permit without making any attempt to accommodate the proposed religious use. The synagogue applied for a special use permit that would have allowed it to operate in a residential property. The city council rejected the permit application, and the synagogue appealed. An appeals court concluded that the city's denial of the permit was "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion." The court acknowledged that "there is no exemption from zoning rules for religious uses, nor is there any conclusive presumption that any religious use automatically outweighs its ill effects." However, "where the applicant is a religious institution, more flexibility is required and efforts must be made to accommodate the religious use, if possible." In fact, "every effort must be ...

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  • September 3, 1990