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Guru Nanak Sikh Society of Yuba City v. County of Sutter

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
456 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2006)


Guru Nanak Sikh Society (plaintiff) (Guru Nanak), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Sikh religion, attempted to seek a conditional use permit (CUP) permitting it to build a Sikh temple. Its 2001 attempt was rejected because the Sutter County Planning Division decided that it would result in an increase in noise and traffic in the community. It applied for a CUP again in 2002, seeking to build its temple in a different, larger location zoned as agricultural land. The application proposed that the temple occupy a very small portion of the land, that it did not border against any private individual’s front or back yard, and that it would comply with all requirements set forth by the Planning Division. Although the division approved of the CUP, on appeal the Board of Supervisors reversed the approval, primarily because the development would constitute “leapfrog development,” i.e. development that jumped over other urbanized areas resulting in disproportionate development. Guru Nanak appealed. The district court granted summary judgment to Guru Nanak and entered an injunction ordering the county to grant the CUP application. The county appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Bea, J.)

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