Congregation Kol Ami v. Abington Township
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
2004 WL 1837037 (2004)
An ordinance in Abington Township, Pennsylvania (Township) (defendant) required religious institutions seeking to locate in residential neighborhoods to apply for a variance with the Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) of Abington while other entities, such as kennels, municipal complexes, and utility facilities, were permitted to locate in such areas by special exemption. Filing of a variance required the religious institution to demonstrate unnecessary hardship while a special exemption merely required an entity to show that the zoning ordinance permitted the use and that the particular use applied for was consistent with the public interest. A Reform Jewish Synagogue, the Congregation Kol Ami (Kol Ami) (plaintiff), applied to the ZHB for a variance or special exemption to operate a house of worship in a residential area. The ZHB denied Kol Ami’s request, even though Kol Ami’s property had served a religious purpose since 1951, first as a Catholic house of worship and then Greek Orthodox. The latter was given a variance to conduct religious activities by the ZHB. Kol Ami wanted to expand religious services and the synagogue’s parking lot. Kol Ami filed suit against the Township alleging violations of the First Amendment, Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and the Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Pa-RFRA). Kol Ami and the Township filed several motions. The court conducted a hearing on the motions.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Newcomer, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.