The Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act was signed into law on September 22, 2000.  This law states that:

No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly, or institution

(A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

This law ensures that all land use laws further a legitimate municipal purpose and does so in the least restrictive way.  This provides municipalities the ability to properly zone for these land uses but requires a carefully crafted zoning ordinance.  The law also ensures that religious facilities can exist with the least restricted governmental regulations imposed, or municipalities may be brought to court.  Kasler Associates, PA has represented five religious facilities in northern New Jersey in the recent years.