Round-Table Sessions: Solar Energy Facility Siting, Nimbyism and RLUIPA and Permitted Assemblies

Rural Planning Caucus of Virginia


Thursday, October 19, 2017
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT

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This session is broken into three rotating breakout sessions to discuss:  Solar Energy Systems; Nimbyism; and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)

Participants will learn of the latest land use issues relative to solar energy systems and examine projects to gain information on siting, land use and zoning and educational opportunities.  Participants will also look at the affects of nimbyism on local land use processes and strategies to effectlively communicate with citizens.

 Finally, participants will gain knowledge of the relationship of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalize Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) and the Virginia’s Agritourism laws.  Participants will learn how the State regulations limit a localities ability to regulate agritourism.  Agritourism is a form of assembly and RLUIPA requires that religious assembly may not be treated on a less than equal terms with nonreligious assembly.  This session will inform you of your obligations to permit agritourism.  You will also learn what limits may be placed on agritourism.  You will also learn how a localities ordinance must be structured to reflect the agritourism regulations in the regulations for religious land uses.  This session will also discuss potential changes in State law and how these changes may further impact agritourism and religious land use.



Alise Newman

Alise Newman is a Media and Communications Specialist with Housing Virginia. Alise works with Housing Virginia by coordinating program administration, managing communications, and designing print and web collateral for the organization. Besides Housing Virginia, she manages communications and public relations for several other affordable housing nonprofits, including the Maggie Walker ... Read More

Joe Lerch, AICP

Joe serves as Director of Local Government Policy for the Virginia Association of Counties. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in geology from William and Mary and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Tech. Joe has worked as a planner for the Cities of ... Read More

William Fritz, AICP


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Darla Orr,