An Empirical Look at Churches in the Zoning Process
10 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2006
Using data from New Haven, Connecticut, this study attempts to examine empirically whether churches face discrimination in the zoning context. Specifically, in this paper I scrutinize local government records to determine whether religious institutions are treated fairly in the zoning appeals process. This study contributes to the ongoing discussion over the regulation of religious land uses by answering two questions. First, to what extent does the Board of Zoning Appeals treat churches differently from secular applicants? Second, are there disparities between the fates of small religious sects and mainstream denominations in applications for zoning exemptions? My research casts some doubts upon the dominant narrative, which suggests churches have been routinely victimized by local zoning boards.
Keywords: property, land use, zoning, church, local government
JEL Classification: K11, R14, R52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation